Let's Have a Concussion Discussion

Let's Have a Concussion Discussion.

The number of children treated in the ER for concussions has increased significantly.

In all sports, from professional to amateur and youth sports, we are growing in our awareness of concussions.  As statistics prove, they are reported more often today, and that will likely continue the more aware we become.  Still, sports related head-injuries happen.  And when they do, we all need to know what to do about them.

Get a Concussion Baseline Test

Concussions are one of the most common sports related injuries. There are over 3 million concussions sustained yearly in the United States.

Are you getting your kids ready for school?  First get their heads checked. As our summer vacations begin to wind down our thoughts turn to the upcoming school year. 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:

It’s not just about football. Soccer especially women’s soccer, volleyball, bicycling, cheer leading are all high risk sports to sustain 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, no risk to the procedure. All it takes is about 20 minutes of playing a special computer game.

What to do if your child has sustained a head injury.

Don’t rely on the athlete to determine whether a concussion has occurred.  The athlete should be seen and diagnosed by a doctor immediately.

The athlete should be removed from the game.  If a concussion is diagnosed, complete rest is required.  This means the unthinkable: No TV, no computer, no texting, no radio, no reading.  On the up side, no school, no homework. Sleep and relaxation are critical to resolving concussions.

Return to school only when a medical professional has determined the concussion has been resolved. Every concussion is different.  There is no universal time line for when a concussion will be resolved.  In fact, concussions in young people take longer to resolve than for adults.  It is also recommended that the first day back at school should be half a day.

Initial return to practice should not involve body contact.  The time needed to progress to body contact should be determined by the medical professional based on the severity of the concussion.