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How to Know if Your Child Has a Concussion

by on July 21, 2016 » Add the first comment.

To kids, the world is a playground. Children roughhouse, climb trees, and do stunts on swings. Older kids and teens compete in contact sports and push themselves to the limit. Sports and daily play activities put your kids at risk for concussion. How do you know when a bump on the head is something more?

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury that results from the brain hitting the side of the skull. Typically, the brain floats in fluid, but a hard jolt can cause this type of injury. A concussion causes cognitive function to slow temporarily—even things like focusing can be difficult, and it takes longer to complete simple tasks. Most parents assume that a concussion is the result of being knocked out, but you don’t need to lose consciousness to sustain one.

For kids under the age of nine, falls are the most common cause of head injury. In older kids, it’s competitive sport—mostly football, soccer, and basketball.

Symptoms of a Concussion

Often, the signs of a concussion will be immediately apparent, but sometimes they take 24 to 48 hours to appear. After your child sustains a fall or other bump on the head, look for these warning signs:

-Appearing dizzy, confused, or stunned
-Not being able to recall events before the accident
-Having difficulty concentrating or answering questions
-Having a headache
-Feeling dizzy or experiencing balance problems
-Experiencing blurred vision
-Feeling groggy
-Needing more sleep
-Nausea or vomiting (some kids may vomit once after the incident, but continued episodes are a red flag)
-In babies, a bulging fontanelle or difficulty feeding

I’m Concerned About a Concussion. What Do I Do?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation, anything more than a slight bump on the head merits a call to the doctor. A trip to the emergency room is appropriate if you notice:

-Continued episodes of vomiting
-Severe headache
-Clumsiness or disorientation
-Slurred speech
-Blood from the ear or nose
-Changes in breathing
-Dilated pupils
-Stiffness in the neck
-Weakness or numbness
-Seizure or convulsion

Treating a Concussion

After your child has been diagnosed with a concussion, proper management is essential to their safety. Follow these recommendations:

-Don’t let them resume usual activity, like playing sports
-Only treat headaches with acetaminophen (Tylenol), NOT ibuprofen or aspirin
-Rest in a cool, dark, and quiet place
-Eat a light diet

One of the most important aspects of concussion recovery is known as mental rest: this means no video games, TV, bright lights, loud noises, cell phone use, texting, or reading. Your children may resume mental tasks after the first few days of recovery, but continue to monitor them for symptoms. Ask them regularly how they’re feeling, and modify their mental activity as appropriate.

Physical rest is equally important to recovery. In a concussion, the brain is essentially bruised and needs time to heal. Giving an appropriate time to rest is the most efficient way to resume normal activity.

Children should never resume regular physical and mental activities without consent from their healthcare providers. Keep all appointments and follow all of their instructions.

Has Your Child Sustained a Concussion?

Concussions can lead to serious side effects, especially if they go undiagnosed. School officials, coaches, and other adults are legally obligated to keep their students and athletes safe. They’re also required to tell parents when their children are injured at practice or at school. If they fail to warn or exercise reasonable care, they may have committed negligence. To see if you qualify for a personal injury settlement,

Find more like this: Child Injuries, Head Concussions, Head Injuries, Safety, Serious Injuries, Traumatic Brain Injuries

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