By Dr. Brown
Fortunately, there is a greater awareness and concern for concussion these days. The long term consequences of concussions are now being realized, especially in former pro football players and other sports.
The important thing is to recognize concussion and exclude your child if there's even a chance that he or she suffered a concussion. When in doubt, exclude that player from further play or potential harm until that person can be further evaluated. However, its not just during sports participation that children can suffer a concussion. Any sort of severe head injury may cause a concussion,
What we need is a quick evaluation tool to try to make decisions. There are various systems to try to evaluate for concussion, one of which is the King-Devick test (look it up on the Internet). This tool can be used quickly on the sidelines to assess for possible concussion. Personally, I hope that something like this becomes mainstream for the quick evaluation for possible concussion.
Besides the obvious reasons to not play if one has suffered a concussion, it is very important to not return to a situation where another concussion can occur. The so called "second impact syndrome" may occur, causing catastrophic problems, including risk for death!
RETURN TO PLAY / SPORTS
Please go to the following link to find "return to play criteria", being used by high school and professional sports.
RETURN TO PLAY CRITERIA
RETURNING TO SCHOOL
In addition to concerns about athletics and suffering a second concusion, your child may need a period of "Cogntive Rest". Cognitive Rest may include decreased attendance at school, not watching TV, playing video games, etc. - anything that may "stress" your child's brain. Please talk to us or contact the school regarding a plan if your child is having a problem or continuing to have symptoms related to the initial conocussion.
Below are some symptom "checklists" that you can print to follow the progression of your child's symptoms. You can score the checklists on a regular basis to see how your child is recovering.
CONCUSSION SYMPTOM SCORE 7TH GRADE AND OLDER
CONCUSSION SYMPTOM SCORE KINDERGARTEN TO 6th GRADE
CDC CONCUSSION WEBSITE
Please check out this website from the CDC regarding concussion. It's extremely good: