Public Health Emerging Issues – Sept. 17, 2018

PARENTS, GUARDIANS AND COACHES SHOULD BE AWARE OF CONCUSSION SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new clinical recommendations for health care providers treating children with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) – more commonly referred to as concussion.
  • Concussions are caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.
  • Parents, guardians and coaches should be aware of concussion signs and symptoms, as well as the information they should be provided with by their child’s health care provider.
    • When consulting with your health care provider about your child’s possible concussion, you can expect your provider to:
      • Avoid the use of medical imaging to diagnose your child.
      • Assess risk factors based on your child’s age to diagnose a concussion.
      • Assess evidence-based risk factors for lengthy recovery.
      • Give you discharge instructions that detail how to help your child feel better and what you can expect along the way.
      • Give you some concussion recovery tips to help you understand and treat symptoms until your child feels better.
  • Signs and symptoms of concussions include:
    • Headache or “pressure” in head.
    • Nausea or vomiting.
    • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
    • Sensitivity to light or noise.
    • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy.
    • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems.
    • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down.”
  • Many parents report the following signs of concussion in their teens:
    • Appears to be dazed or stunned.
    • Forgets instructions, is confused about an assignment or position or is unsure of the game, score or opponent.
    • Moves clumsily.
    • Answers questions slowly.
    • Loses consciousness – even briefly.
    • Shows mood, behavior or personality changes.
    • Can’t recall events prior to or after a hit or fall.

  • Concussions can be dangerous, in rare cases, as a blood clot could form on the brain and crowd the brain against the skull, so it’s important to contact your health care provider right away if you suspect your child has experienced a concussion.
  • Remember, children and teens with a concussion should never return to sports or recreational activities until they are cleared for activity by their health care provider.
  • Click here to learn more about concussion symptoms and treatment.

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