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Concussions

by The Kid's Doctor Staff
 

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Concussions can happen to any type of athlete, both on the field and on the sidelines, regardless of sex. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow or jolt to the head that can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works.

“It accounts for about six percent of all sports related injuries in kids ages five to 18,” says pediatrician Dr. Sue Hubbard.

Concussions don’t always involve a loss of consciousness. In fact, most people who have concussions never black out. Many people have had concussions and not realized it. The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and may not appear immediately. Symptoms can last for days, weeks or longer. The two most common concussion symptoms are confusion and amnesia. Other immediate signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech

“We’re looking for amnesia, we’re looking for confusion, it’s not always the kids who looses consciousness or comes over to the sidelines and starts vomiting, it’s a lot about neurocognitive function, which is hard to asses sometimes,” emphasizes Dr. Hubbard.

A doctor should see any child who has lost consciousness after a blow to the head.

Rest is the best recovery technique. Healing takes time. For headaches, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used. Avoid aspirin, as it can increase the risk of bleeding.

“You can not return to play the next day if you have had a concussion,” says Dr. Hubbard. “It usually takes seven to 10 days for a mild concussion to resolve and usually requires no further intervention.”

More Information: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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