Sports, Concussions, and Children: What Every Parent Needs to Know

A concussion is basically a TBI or traumatic brain injury due to a jolt, blow, or bump to the head or the body. It could result in many different health issues such as dizziness, persistent headaches, and cognitive problems.

In rare instances, it could even result in the brain bleeding and swelling that could be fatal if not addressed as soon as possible. The most common concussion causes are trauma during recreational or professional sporting activities, which typically includes football, boxing, hockey, and soccer.

Vital Statistics to Know About Concussions

The latest stats from the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, states that during 2012, it’s estimated that more than 320,000 kids not older than 19 years old were rushed to the emergency room due to sports-related injuries that came with a TBI or concussion diagnosis.

In addition, stats gathered by the Sports Medicine Concussion Program of UPMC states that 1.7 million up to 3 million concussions related to sports occur every single year, but that approximately five in 10 cases go undetected or unreported.

With all these statistics in mind, it is immensely critical that you’re aware of the symptoms and warning signs of a concussion — from dizziness, headaches, balance issues, blurry vision, and issues with thinking and memory after sustaining head and body trauma — and that you get to your local general physician in Clive, IA, for accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment.

Keeping Your Child Safe During Sporting Activities

boys playing football

Make sure that your child is aware of the potential risks of playing a specific sport and that they follow the game rules, which include wearing all required safety clothing and gear. The CDC likewise recommends the following safety precautions:

  • Educate your child about reducing the risk of developing a concussion and reporting it to their coach if they do.
  • Make sure that your child always observes the game and safety rules.
  • Educate your child about the importance of practicing good sportsmanship during sporting events.

Recovering from a Concussion and Returning to Play

All individuals regardless of age, who develop a concussion must undergo a professional evaluation prior to returning to play. Generally speaking, however, they can resume playing again once they are symptom-free and stay a symptom-free while and following the physical evaluation.

The thing is that it’s hard to confirm whether or not the brain has completely recovered, even after resolution of all symptoms. In cases like this, neurocognitive testing could be extremely helpful to try and determine brain function. When compared to a baseline test, the results from this test could be utilized alongside the physical exam results to help decrease future concussion risks.

It’s also crucial to note that there’s no specific treatment for concussions as symptoms and the severity of symptoms might vary from person to person, but that ample rest is required to heal properly.

Needless to say, make sure to follow the recovery plan suggested by your child’s doctor and when it’s safe for your child to return to their sporting activities.