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Concussion 101 for Child and Teen Athletes

Concussion 101 for Child and Teen Athletes

Sports injuries are usually something you can see right away, whether it’s a cut on your finger, a scrape on your elbow, or even a broken bone. On the other hand, concussions are invisible. But this type of injury can cause a lot of damage, especially in teens and children.

April is National Facial Protection Month; it’s an opportune time to consider how we can protect our children from head, face, and teeth injuries during sports and other activities.

What is a Concussion?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “a concussion is a type of brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works.” During a concussion, the brain moves rapidly back and forth inside the skull. A concussion can be caused by a bump or jolt to the head. Even mild bumps to the head can be serious and have a greater impact on young, developing brains. If left undetected, a concussion can result in long-term brain damage or even death.

Concussions are becoming more common. The American Academy of Pediatrics has reported that emergency room visits for concussions in kids ages 8 to 13 years old has doubled, and concussions have risen 200 percent among teens ages 14 to 19 in the last decade.

Signs of a Concussion

Signs that a concussion has occurred may show up immediately after the injury, but sometimes appear hours or even days later. Watch your child to see how he or she is feeling. Many people assume a concussion will cause someone to faint, but people with concussions do not always lose consciousness. If your child or teen has two or more of the following symptoms, get him or her checked by a doctor.

Symptoms You Observe

Symptoms Reported by Your Child/Teen:

Warning Signs

If you witness or your child experiences the following symptoms, immediately take him/her to the emergency department or call 911.

What to Do in the Event of a Concussion

If your child or teen has a concussion, he/she needs to stop all activity immediately. Returning to normal physical activities, such as sports, and mental activities, such as focus and concentration in school, can cause damage. Encourage rest and allow breaks. Your child’s doctor may request you to keep him/her home from school for a day or two. He/she will instruct you when it’s OK to return to normal activities.

Prevention is the Best Cure

Physical activity and sports are healthy pursuits that promote teamwork and fitness. However, concussions can be dangerous, and child and teen athletes are also exposed to numerous other potential injuries. To prevent injury as much as possible, rely on the following measures:

If you are concerned about your child’s well-being during sports or other activities, contact us today and talk to his/her doctor at Generations Family Practice. We’re happy to help your child enjoy sports and physical activity.

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