Impact - The Tell-Tale Signs That Your Child Has Experienced A Concussion
Signing your child up for sports is beneficial for a number of reasons. It promotes physical activity, it creates a sense of accomplishment for them, and it enhances socialization skills. Of course, any sport comes with the risk of injury including concussion, which can be serious if not taken seriously.
A concussion can happen to anyone, but there is a greater chance of it happening if your child is involved in a sport. It’s a mild form of traumatic brain injury where the brain goes back and forth in the head often hitting the front and back of the skull. That movement can cause damage to the brain’s connective tissues and can disturb cognitive functions.
So how do you know if your loved one has experienced a concussion? Well first, it is important to know that a person doesn’t have to actually lose consciousness to experience a concussion. In fact, you may not even realize you have suffered a concussion right away, as symptoms can develop hours or even days after the incident. Common physical symptoms can include nausea, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, sensitivity to noise and light, and even vomiting. Cognitive symptoms can include confusion, slow thinking, short-term memory problems, or trouble concentrating. And that’s not all. Concussions commonly involve emotional changes, including irritability and even depression.
Research suggests that adolescents are at particular risk for negative outcomes following a concussion because of their developing brains. It’s also important to note that the recovery process is not just physical, but psychological as well. Many athletes often experience guilt or shame after a concussion because of their inability to return to play, and often feel frustrated that they feel unwell even though there may be no physical signs of injury, such as cuts or bruising.
If your child has experienced a concussion, it is very important to encourage them to get a lot of rest. Your child may want to go back to playing sports soon after their injury, or insist that he or she is fine, however, the key to recovery is rest and relaxation. The more you overexert yourself, the higher the chance that the symptoms could get worse in the first few days following the injury.
If you feel like your son or daughter is experiencing symptoms of a concussion, then it would be worthwhile to visit a neuropsychologist and we invite you to contact our office. A neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist with expertise in understanding the brain’s functions. They will assess the patient to determine the severity of the injury. A neuropsychologist may make use of special tests to assess memory, attention, reasoning, and other cognitive skills to see if the concussion is impacting normal brain functioning. After the assessment, the neuropsychologist will provide a treatment plan, which could include anything from additional rest to a rehabilitation program.
Sports are a vital and exciting part of many children’s lives. Playing safely and monitoring potential injuries helps ensure the game stays fun.