Concussions are serious whenever and wherever they occur, but unlike professional sports, when children suffer a possible concussion, there's often no one around to evaluate it properly. Here's what you can do to help identify some of the often-subtle signs of a concussion and make the informed decision to get further evaluation from a health care professional.
If a child experiences any of the following symptoms, particularly immediately after a collision or fall in which they struck their head, they need to go to the emergency room immediately for evaluation:
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe headache / headache that worsens
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty walking
- Confusion / not making sense
- Slurred speech
- Unresponsiveness (unable to be awaken)
Of course, many children may not display any of those symptoms following a head impact, but still be at risk for concussion, so it's important to evaluate the child with some a simple battery of initial tests.
These and other variables are all part of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool, which is used by health care professionals to help assess concussion symptoms.
The most important variable when it comes to determining whether your child should continue to play, be removed from play and/or be seen by a medical provider in the absence of clear symptoms (loss of consciousness, severe headache, slurred speech, etc.) may be how the child is acting compared to before the contact occurred. You know your child. If they're acting "out of sorts," err on the side of caution.
Keep in mind that the above should not be relied upon in lieu of proper evaluation by a health care provider, but if you suspect a concussion has occurred, these symptoms / signs and tests are an important first option to help determine the next step you should take. Talk to your doctor for additional information about concussions and how you can help keep your child safe on and off the field.
June 11, 2017 / Blog / Comments