A concussion is a mild brain injury that can cause headaches, memory loss and confusion. Concussions can cause alarming behavior but are somewhat common. A concussion typically occurs as a result of a fall or other type of accident, often during sports.
If your child gets a concussion, especially during sports, it’s very important that they stop engaging in the activity until they are assessed by a physician. But how do you know if your child has a concussion?
Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
- Memory loss
- Dizziness or trouble with balance
- Nausea or vomiting
- Feeling sleepy
- Acting cranky, strangely, or out of sorts
- Being bothered by noise or light
So it’s looking like your child has several of these symptoms after taking a tumble, what do you do next? Take them to their physician who will ask about behavior and symptoms and also conduct a neurological exam. This evaluation includes checking their vision, hearing, sensation, balance, and reflexes. Your doctor will then decide if your child needs any more tests, which are often unnecessary in order to diagnose a concussion.
Once a concussion is confirmed, a physician will have you and your child prioritize the following in order to recover…
- Prevent further injury if at all possible. Even if your child seems OK or says they feel fine, they should not go back to playing sports, or even to school, until they are cleared by a physician.
- Rest. Both physical and mental rest are crucial for your child’s recovery. Avoid things like screen time or games, and again, do not let your child engage in physical activity for a couple of days.
- Treat symptoms when needed.Tylenol and Motrin can be recommended for headache by your doctor, here’s our handy dandy dosage chart for your convenience.
Most children will recover in a matter of days and will be able to go back to business as usual. Of course extreme circumstances do arise, so call your primary care provider immediately if your child experiences numbness, vomits multiple times, or is having trouble walking or talking after being diagnosed with a concussion. Call 911 if your child has a seizure or cannot be woken up.
We know seeing your child injured is the last thing in the world you want to see as a parent. That said, accidents do happen and we want to be there for you when they do. Please reach out to us at anytime of day concerning your child and a possible concussion.
Until next time,
Dr. Parker Rogers
Parkside Provider, mountain biker, and father to three curly headed cuties