The start of a new sports season can be an exciting time, but it is also important to keep in mind the risks associated with many elementary and high school sports. According to the American Academy of Neurology, football, rugby, and soccer pose the greatest risk of concussion to athletes.
A concussion is a form of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and although severity can differ, all should be treated with a high level of care.
Symptoms of a concussion can include all or some of the following:
- Blurry vision/double vision
- Feeling hazy, foggy, or groggy
- Feeling very drowsy, having sleep problems
- Inability to focus, concentrate
- Nausea (stomach upset)
- Not feeling right
- Sensitivity to light or sound
If your child incurs a blow or jolt to the head while playing a sport:
- Make sure they stop playing immediately to reduce the risk of a worse injury occurring
- After taking them out of the game, make sure they are screened by someone such as a coach or athletic trainer who is trained to conduct these screenings
- After a screening, you should report the results to a health care professional for further evaluation. If a licensed health care professional diagnoses your child with a concussion, discuss a plan with them on how to manage and treat the head injury
- Lastly, do not allow your child to return to play until ALL symptoms have cleared up and a licensed professional had cleared them to return to play
No two concussions are exactly the same so there is no set time limit for when a student athlete should return to play. Whatever sport your child plays, make sure they are aware of the severity and seriousness of an injury to their head, back and neck.
For more information on traumatic head injury and concussions go to Brain Injury Association of North Carolina at http://www.bianc.net
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