What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works. A concussion is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head or brain to move rapidly back and forth. Concussions can have a more serious effect on a young, developing brain and need to be addressed correctly.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Memory loss
- Blurred Vision
- Difficulty balancing
- Sensitivity to light
- Unequal sized pupils
Signs and symptoms of a concussion can show up right after an injury or may not appear or be noticed until hours or days after the injury. It is important to watch for changes in how your child or teen is acting or feeling.
What should I do if my child has a concussion?
1) Seek medical attention right away. A health care professional experienced in evaluating a concussion can determine how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your child or teen to return to normal activities, including physical activity and school (concentration and learning activities). It is important to inform your school’s athletic trainer of all concussions and see your child’s doctor.
2) Help them take time to get better. If your child has a concussion, his or her brain needs time to heal. Your child or teen may need to limit activities while s/he is recovering from a concussion. Exercising or activities that involve a lot of concentration, such as studying, working on the computer, watching T.V or playing video games may cause concussion symptoms (such as headache or fatigue) to worsen. After a concussion, physical and cognitive activities should be carefully managed and monitored by a health care professional.
3) Together with your child, learn more about concussions. Talk about the potential long-term effects of concussion and the dangers of returning too soon to normal activities (physical and learning/concentration). For more information about concussions visit www.cdc.gov/Concussion.
How can I help my child return to school safely after a concussion?
Talk with your child’s teachers, athletic trainer, coach, and counselor about your child’s concussion and symptoms. Your child may feel frustrated, sad, and angry because s/he cannot return to recreation and sports right away, or cannot keep up with schoolwork. Your child may also feel isolated from peers and social networks. Talk often with your child about these issues and offer your support and encouragement. Children and teens that return to school after a concussion may need to:
· Take rest breaks as needed
· Spend fewer hours at school
· Have more time to take tests or complete assignments
· Reduce time spent reading, writing, or on the computer