Concusions can be a very scary subject for parents, since the paternal instinct to protect the child's head is very strong, and because discussions can happen and go unnoticed if you do not know the symptoms. Kids are very active, and spend a lot of time outside playing, doing sports, and other activities that open them up to injury. Concusions can have varying effects on a child, but the best thing is to catch them as soon as possible to ensure that there will be no lasting damage or risk for disability. Here are 5 facts about concussions and concussion recovery that all parents need to know:
1) You do not have to be knocked unconscious to get a conversation. If a child is knocked unconscious by a fall or an accident the situations that they may have a conversation are high, but any injury to the head can cause a conversation, even minor falls or slight head injuries. This is why it's important to know the signs and symptoms of a conversation, because they may not be obvious unless you know what to look for. The child should be monitored after any head injury or traumatic jostling for sign of a conversation, even if they feel fine. If there is any indication at all of a discussion, you should see a doctor right away.
2) A discussion can be caused by any sudden traumatic movement, either a fall, whiplash, or direct hit to the head. This is due to the fact that the brain is made of soft tissue and is cushioned by fluid from the spine, and the skull surrounding the brain is hard, so when jarring movement happens the brain can actually move around inside the skull and be damaged by the sides. This causes the brain to potentially bruise, tear blood vessels, or damage nerves inside the brain.
3) When a child gets a conversation, they often fully recover within one to two weeks without a risk of future health problems, but in order to do so they must follow certain precedencies that the doctor will recommend. The precautions can include a short hiatus from sports, and avoidance of certain activities that might make the symptoms of the concussion worse.
4) Symptoms of a conversation may not happen right away, and can develop 24 to 72 hours after the impact. Symptoms to watch out for include physical symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, inability to balance, trouble with coordination, and blurry vision. Other types of symptoms can be emotional, such as feelings of anxiety or irritability, or an increase in sadness or being more emotional than usual. There can be cognitive symptoms such as feeling dazed or confused, having a hard time concentrating or making decisions, trouble with memory, typically of remembering the time right before or right after the injury, and slurred speech, or saying sentences that do not make sense. Another big one to watch out for is change in sleep habits, either sleeping more than usual, or having difficulty sleeping or falling asleep.
5) After and concussion comes concussion recovery. This mainly includes constant monitoring of the child, and rest. The child must rest both physically and cognitively, and stay away from things that might worsen the symptoms of the concussion. Before anything though, be sure you see a doctor to diagnose the concussion, then you can receive proper instruction on how to help your child recover.