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Children and Concussions

Concussions, also called mild traumatic brain injuries, are a serious issue and affect millions of children each year. If your child plays sports, you probably know that they are at increased risk.

Concussions do not always involve being “knocked out” or a loss of consciousness. A concussion occurs whenever a child’s mental status changes as a result of trauma (usually a blow to the head). A child who shows signs of mental confusion or receives a blow to the head has suffered a concussion.

If your child hurts their head while playing a sport, they should stop playing immediately. Be alert for signs of a concussion, including mental and physical symptoms (e.g., inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, headache, fatigue, dizziness).

Keep in mind, symptoms don’t always show up right away. It can take up to 3 days for signs to become obvious.

If a child does show signs of a concussion, parents should seek appropriate medical care.

For many children, the symptoms disappear after about 10 days. For children who experience persistent difficulties after a concussion such as headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritability, sleep disturbances, or dropping grades, an effective treatment plan will often combine education, cognitive rehabilitation, psychological support, and in some cases medication.

It is important to follow your healthcare provider’s recommendation on when your child can return to regular activity. When given the OK, ease back into things. Stop playing right away if any symptoms return.

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/HEADSUP. WCH offer FREE evaluations of scholastic aged athletes with sports injuries during the fall sports season. The clinics will be held on most Saturday mornings from 8:30 am -9:30 am in the Medical Office Building, 960W. Wooster St., Suite 101. For exact dates visit https://www.woodcountyhospital.org/medical-services/rehabilitation-services/sports-medicine/