Many coaches now have taken an online course about concussions and how to assess for one. As a parent it’s important to know the symptoms and importance of concussions as well since symptoms sometimes don’t occur right away.
A fall or collision can lead to the brain hitting the skull. This causes a bruise on the brain or broken blood vessels which may decrease normal functioning to the brain, also known as a concussion. Just like a swollen knee or sprained ankle, the body needs time to recover from this injury. If your child has a head injury while playing a sport they need to stop playing immediately. In some organized sports, an athletic trainer will do sideline testing for concussion symptoms to determine if your child should go back into the game or not. Symptoms include:
• Poor coordination or balance
• Blurred vision
• Confusion, not remembering the injury or what happened right after the injury
• Slurred speech
• Fatigue or changes in sleep patterns
• Becoming emotional
If your child has the symptoms of a concussion they need to see their doctor or nurse practitioner. In addition, they should not return to play until the doctor or nurse practitioner says it is ok to return to play. Even if your child is cleared to return to play it is often recommended to start slowly back to school or sports. It is much better to take the time to fully recover than to push your child and risk another injury.