Childhood Concussions: Sports-Related Head Injuries During Play
Sports are a fun part of childhood. However, sports-related head injuries are no laughing matter.
Head injuries are on the rise for athletes at all levels of play, and in all areas of sport. Reports show that the number of children seeking emergency medical care for sports concussions incurred while playing competitive athletics has more than doubled.
Head injuries can occur while participating in any number of favorite childhood sports such as soccer, football, baseball, biking, skateboarding and more. Boys football, boys hockey and girls soccer account for the largest occurrence of sports concussions.
Head injuries, such as concussions, are usually mild and often heal without problem. However, some head injuries can cause serious and permanent damage. Most dramatically, cumulative sports concussions are shown to increase the likelihood of catastrophic head injury leading to permanent neurologic disability by an astounding 39 percent.
Sometimes a head injury can be worse that it looks. Even if there is no bleeding or visible bump, a head impact can cause dangerous swelling and bleeding inside the brain. Approximately 90 percent of diagnosed concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness, so it is important that appropriate concussion evaluation and concussion tests are performed at the first signs of impact.
Children and teens may not report bumps or blows to the head, and symptoms of a concussion may go unnoticed. Educate your young athletes on the importance of reporting any blows to the head that result in concussion-related symptoms and be sure to perform a concussion evaluation if you suspect injury. Learn more about the symptoms of a concussion.
If you believe your child may have a concussion, seek medical help immediately. The Head Case Mobile App provides a step-by-step guide to assist in assessing any concussion symptoms.
If you believe your child has a concussion or if your medical provider has diagnosed a concussion, remove your child from play. Be sure to provide adequate time to rest until all symptoms are gone. This can take several days to weeks. It is important to note that your child should rest from both physical and mental activities. Mental activities such as using the computer, playing video games and studying can cause concussion symptoms to reappear. Your doctor can help determine when it's safe for your child to return to play.
If your child returns to sports or activities too quickly, he or she risks head injury complications. Once a young athlete has sustained a concussion, he or she has a higher risk of sustaining another concussion. A second blow to the head while the first concussion is still healing can result in additional long-term injury, or even permanent brain damage.
Possible complications from a second blow to the head include post-concussion syndrome, which is characterized by persistent concussion symptoms including dizziness, headaches, irritability, problems with memory and attention. Dangerous and even fatal brain swelling can occur in some instances.
Concussion management is a critical component to ensuring a young athlete can engage in play safely now and in the future.
Disclaimer: Head Case does NOT offer medical advice. The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from www.headcasecompany.com without seeking professional medical advice. Do not delay seeing a doctor if you think you have a medical problem. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.