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What Every Parent Should Know About Concussions

Concussions are mild forms of brain injuries which often result from a blow or jolt to the head. They are considered mild forms of brain injuries because they are not often life-threatening. However, if the victim of a concussion does not receive adequate medical attention the consequences of a concussion can be serious.

The circumstance which most often leads to a concussion is a blow to the head, meaning some object has struck the skull. A blow to the head is easier to identify than a jolt because it often results in physical injuries, such as bumps, bruises, and abrasions. A jolt may result in no physical signs of injury. Like a whiplash injury, a concussion can occur when the skull is quickly moved back and forth.

4 Major Symptoms of Concussions

In all cases there are signs which indicate that a concussion has occurred and may worsen if not properly treated.

  • Thinking clearly becomes difficult / thoughts are hazy. Also, it becomes difficult to remember new information.

  • Physical pain or injuries, such as headaches, impaired vision, feelings of nausea, trouble maintaining balance.

  • Emotional abnormalities, such as irritability, depression, anxiety.

  • Sleep abnormalities. This can mean sleeping more than usual or sleeping less than usual, depending on your normal habits.

5 Signs That Your Concussion is Getting Worse

If you experience these symptoms it is best to seek medical attention. It is especially wise to seek a doctor evaluation if you have you experience one or more of the following symptoms. These symptoms may indicate that your concussion has worsened since the injury took place.

·         One of your pupils is noticeably larger than the other

·         When sleeping, you cannot easily be awakened

·         Your speech slurs and you are less coordinated than usual

·         You have difficulty recognizing people and / or places

·         You have consistent headaches

If you or your son or daughter suffers from a concussion there are three major things you should do to facilitate a quick and full recovery.

  1. Seek immediate medical attention. An experienced doctor will be able to evaluate a concussion and recommend the correct method of treatment to ensure your child returns to normal daily activities.
  2. Rest, rest, rest. Recovering from a concussion requires some downtime. Refraining from physical activities is essential, as well as refraining from prolonged concentration on TV, video games, or books. Time off from school or work is recommended.
  3. Contact school officials. To fully recover, your son or daughter will need to move at a slower pace. Tests or in-class assignments may require more time to complete. Frequent breaks during the school day may also be necessary. Contact teachers, coaches, and the school nurse to alert them of your child’s injury.

For more information on concussions and how to recover from a concussion injury, see the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) concussions page.

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