With the spring sports season underway it’s important reminder that we understand concussions. A recent ESPN report has found a high incidence of concussions in girls who play lacrosse. So what is causing these concussions and how do we recognize the symptoms and what to do if our child suffers one.
According to WebMD a concussion is “a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of a brain injury.”
Because there are no visible signs of a concussion, it’s important we know the symptoms to help protect our kids. Unfortunately kids who want to continue playing sports will not always tell anyone about their symptoms, so it’s also important we talk to our kids about the dangers of concussions. Concussions are not something to be taken lightly and repeated concussions could lead to lasting problems. It’s important to contact your doctor if that happens.
More from WedMD:
What causes a concussion?
Your brain is a soft organ that is surrounded by spinal fluid and protected by your hard skull. Normally, the fluid around your brain acts like a cushion that keeps your brain from banging into your skull. But if your head or your body is hit hard, your brain can crash into your skull and be injured.
How do you get a concussion?
Some common ways include fights, falls, playground injuries, car crashes, and bike accidents. Concussions can also happen while participating in any sport or activity such as football, boxing, hockey, soccer, skiing, or snowboarding.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of a concussion range from mild to severe and can last for hours, days, weeks, or even months. If you notice any symptoms of a concussion, contact your doctor.
Symptoms of a concussion fit into four main categories:
Thinking and remembering
Not thinking clearly
Feeling slowed down
Not being able to concentrate
Not being able to remember new information
Nausea and vomiting
Fuzzy or blurry vision
Sensitivity to light or noise
Feeling tired or having no energy
Emotional and mood
Easily upset or angered
Nervous or anxious
Sleeping more than usual
Sleeping less than usual
Having a hard time falling asleep
Symptoms for young children can be a little different.
Young children may also have symptoms like:
Crying more than usual.
Headache that does not go away.
Changes in the way they play or act.
Changes in the way they nurse, eat, or sleep.
Being upset easily or having more temper tantrums.
A sad mood.
Lack of interest in their usual activities or favorite toys.
Loss of new skills, such as toilet training.
Loss of balance and trouble walking.
Not being able to pay attention.
How is it treated?
A concussion is not to be taken lightly. You need to take care of it right away! WedMd suggests “after being seen by a doctor, some people have to stay in the hospital to be watched. Others can go home safely. People who go home still need to be watched closely for warning signs or changes in behavior.”
Call 911 or seek emergency care right away if you are watching a person after a concussion and the person has:
A headache that gets worse or does not go away.
Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination.
Repeated vomiting or nausea.
Extreme drowsiness or you cannot wake them.
One pupil that is larger than the other.
Convulsions or seizures.
A problem recognizing people or places.
Increasing confusion, restlessness, or agitation.
Loss of consciousness.
Warning signs in children are the same as those listed above for adults. Take your child to the emergency department if he or she has any of the warnings signs listed above or:
Will not stop crying.
Will not nurse or eat.