Five Signs Your Child May Be Concussed.
Five Things Every School Nurse Knows About Concussions
School nurses are the unsung heroes in the academic world. They do everything from treat injuries to identify illnesses, and often, they’re only health professionals who see students on a regular basis. Because school nurses are a student’s first line defense following an injury, it’s important that they be aware of the facts regarding concussion. Here are their top 5 facts for parents about school age concussions.
Concussions are common. Concussions are far more common than many realize, and they are a particularly common injury in middle school and high school. According to the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association, a 2011 study showed that concussions accounted for 15% of youth sports-related injuries (SWATA.org)
Every concussion is different. Symptoms vary widely and may take many forms. These can include memory changes, ocular field disruptions, balance disorders, poor concentration, emotional changes, headaches and fatigue. In some cases, students may experience nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise, or complain about “not feeling right.”
Concussions have their own time zone. Concussions are brain injuries, and until fully recovered, the brain must be given time to heal. Some concussions resolve in two days, while some take two weeks or two months. In fact, healing can take up to one year.
Youth are at higher risk and take longer to heal than adults. Children are particularly vulnerable to concussion. Because of developmental changes in the brains of children, their symptoms often take longer to resolve than those of an adult.
Students with a concussion must be protected from playing. Until the injury has resolved, it is imperative that the student avoid further injury by being removed from play and practice. The student should not return until evaluated by an appropriate medical professional. Continuing to play may result in a repeat concussion, which can slow recovery and increase the chance of long-term problems.
Get a Concussion Baseline Test
Are you getting your kids ready for summer sports or camp? First, get their heads checked. As our summer vacations begin, our children will be spending more time outside being active. For young athletes, a Baseline Concussion test should be a part of that preparation. With the amount of head-injuries on the rise among student athletes, there are some alarming statistics:
- Concussions are one of the most common sports related injuries. There are over 3 million concussions sustained yearly in the United States.
- It’s not just about football. Soccer especially women’s soccer, volleyball, bicycling and cheer leading are all high-risk sports to for traumatic brain injuries.
- Over half of concussions take longer that one week to resolve.
- Until a concussion is completely healed, it takes only minor trauma to make things much worse.
You can’t diagnose a concussion with a CT scan or an MRI. A baseline test and comparing that test to a repeat test after an injury as part of a medical professional evaluation is one of the best ways to evaluate a concussion. That procedure is used by the NFL, Professional Baseball, NASCAR, Soccer, and most collegiate programs. There are no needles, no radiation, and no risk to the procedure. All it takes is about 20 minutes of playing a special computer game.