2 years ago the guidelines on sports related concussions and head trauma tightened up, spurred on by the news making lawsuits brought by some prominent football players families, most notably but not solely, the death of Ohio State football player Kosta Karageorge, who suffered from multiple concussions and then tragically took his own life. As we were learning, their lives had been severely impacted by concussions, due to the effects of traumatic brain injury throughout their years in the game.
It’s football season once more, and as we head into the season, we are now more aware of the dangers of extensive head trauma. Here’s how you can help keep your children safe and avoid concussions when playing football and high impact sports.
After the dust settled, Connecticut and many other states, passed laws requiring coaches,trainers, phys-ed teachers and anyone working with student athletes or professional athletes to under-go training on concussion symptoms and what to look for, how to treat, and how to educate their athletes on the dangers of concussions and head injuries caused by sever blows to the heads.
Concussion Symptoms and What to Look For
If your child has experienced a bad blow to his/her head, the next 24-49 hours are crucial.
Parents should watch for :
- excessive sleep
- increased lethargy
- slurred speech
If any of these symptoms are occurring its very important that you bring your child in for a comprehensive concussion exam, sooner rather than later.
What your child’s physician should be looking for in a concussion exam:
Providers will take a history of the accident and find out the following:
- Has there been a loss of consciousness
- Where (on the head) the injury took place
- Has there been nausea or vomiting prior to seeing the doctor
- Has the athlete experienced amnesia, either retrograde or anterograde
A neurological exam should also accompany the concussion screening, during which the provider checks for loss of coordination, watches for difficulty in answering simple factual questions and observes the patient for confusion, fatigue or lethargy.
Parents should continue to observe their athlete over the next few days for these signs. Any symptoms such as increased confusion, slurred speech, excessive sleep or ongoing lethargy are signs that your athlete may have suffered a concussion.
Watch this Medical Minute on concussion and traumatic brain injuries prevention and education.
The fact is that the majority of head blows do not result in concussions, and if after an exam, the results are normal the typical protocol is to take a few days off and them return to their activity.
If you, your child, or a loved one has received head a blow to the head and you are unsure of whether this is a concussion or not, please, feel free to come in and let one of our providers conduct an exam. Feel free to either save time by signing in online, or walk in, no appointment needed. We’re located at 1030 Boulevard in West Hartford, are open 7 days per week, no appointment is necessary.