Information for Patients/Parents
The Life of children and adults alike can be filled with action and adventure; However, with the high amount of activity involved with participating in different sports can come a risk of concussion and other health issues. As a parent, it’s important to be aware of concussion symptoms and be prepared to tackle any health risks associated with accidents.
If your child is playing a sport – especially one associated with a high risk of concussion, you should always seek information about the symptoms and signs of possible concussions. We strongly encourage being proactive and get your athlete a baseline screening before the sports season even begins.
Even if your child isn’t involved in contact sports, you can absolutely obtain a baseline brain health screening for both yourself and your child. After all, concussions aren’t just caused by sports injuries, they don’t just happen to children and you never know when a traumatic brain injury may occur. It can be caused by indirect impact (such as whiplash from a car accident) or jolt to the body, or a direct accident from a fall or hit to the head.
Signs that your child may be suffering a concussion may include, headaches, nausea, and sensitivity to light and noise, dizziness, changes in personality and confusion. It’s important to immediately take them to a Physician to get properly checked and diagnosed.
Concussion symptoms should disappear over time, and it’s recommended to take up to 10 days to rest and recover from a concussion. They should definitely take time out from any sports or physical activity until advised by a doctor or healthcare professional that it is safe to return.
If your child has taken these precautions and it is taking more than 10 days to recover, call or make another appointment. There is a possibility that your child may have what’s called ‘post-concussion syndrome’ and further medical intervention may be needed.
It can be difficult to tell if a child is experiencing a concussion. Often, children won’t be upfront about their condition and will rarely express their feelings. It’s up to you to see if their personality seems different. They may be quiet, irritable, tired, anxious or have unusual sleeping patterns. After a fall or a hit to the head, keep an eye out for these changes in behavioural patterns.
If your child has had a fall or accident during a sports game, but you can’t tell if they have a concussion the general rule is “if in doubt, sit it out”. Never encourage your child to go back out and finish playing the game. Encourage them to sit down and rest. If you see any of the above symptoms, immediately take them to consult with a healthcare professional.
Concussions are a complex injury and do require specialized care. Not every healthcare professional is fully trained in full evaluation and treatment of concussions. It is an injury to be taken seriously and should be evaluated by a licensed and board-certified specialist.
We highly recommend baseline brain health assessments for everyone, but strongly encourage this for children involved in contact sports or activities with high-risk of head injury.