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Head Injury and Concussion: The Necessary Information and Steps to Take

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Head Injury and Concussion: The Necessary Information and Steps to Take

Head Injury and Concussion

Head injury and concussion: Injuries to the brain, known as concussions, can alter brain function and cause symptoms like headache, vertigo, and disorientation. Symptoms typically subside within a few days to a month with relaxation, a slow return to school, and regular activities. The duration of symptoms can vary.

 Even while most head injuries aren’t life-threatening, it’s essential to get medical attention if you or your child have any symptoms following a head injury. Experiencing a concussion, also known as a transient brain injury, could impact you for up to a few weeks.

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Head Injury and Concussion

Define a Concussion.

Any impact that shakes the brain, such as a fall, bump, or jolt to the head, can lead to a concussion. A lack of mental endurance and performance may result from this “invisible” injury, which alters the brain’s regular function and makes even simple tasks more taxing on the brain. 

Although some people experience unconsciousness (being “knocked out”) after a concussion, this is by no means the norm. In the end, concussions are always dangerous because they damage the brain.

What are the Signs That My Child Has Had Injury and Concussion?

A concussion can have far-reaching effects on a child’s physical health, mental capacity, emotional stability, and ability to sleep. For each category, the table shows the most prevalent symptoms.

Typical Signs of a Head Injury and Concussion

Head Injury and Concussion

  • Pain in the joints, brain, emotions, and sleep
  • Not feeling quite sharp
  • Tense Feelings
  • Problems winding down at night
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Feeling less energetic
  • Sadness
  • Going to bed earlier than normal
  • Issues in maintaining a steady balance
  • Having trouble focusing
  • Nervousness
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Sickness and throwing up
  • Having trouble keeping
  • Excessively sentimental
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Problems concentrating
  • Light sensitivity
  • Vibrational sensitivity

Concussion symptoms can appear soon after a blow to the head or as late as 48 hours after the incident, even though it may not seem serious at the time. Disregarding a child’s symptoms of a concussion can have severe consequences for their health, both in the short and long term.

The Significance of Being Truthful When Reporting Concussions

Despite the seriousness of concussions to high school athletes, research shows that fewer than half of these injuries are reported. Despite a diagnosis, many athletes feel compelled to deny experiencing symptoms. 

You should stay away from this since it’s harmful. No athlete who has ever had a significant problem as a result of a concussion has ever told their parents, athletic trainer, or doctor about the persistent symptoms of the injury. 

Hence, players, coaches, and parents must know how to spot a concussion and urge each other to be honest when reporting symptoms.

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Could a Concussion Make My Child’s Athletic Career Less Than Ideal?

I would say yes, hands down. Tragically, a second concussion can set in before an athlete has fully recovered, a condition known as second impact syndrome. 

Serious repercussions like brain damage, paralysis, or even death might occur as a result of the swelling caused by this second blow. This syndrome does manifest in youngsters, though rarely. 

As a result, after suffering what may be a concussion, no child should play a sport or engage in any activity that puts their head in harm’s way. In addition, unless a doctor gives the go-ahead, no child should play again after suffering a concussion.

Treatment for Head Trauma

What Can I Do If My Child Has a Concussion?

The first step in treating a child’s injury is to monitor him or her for any worsening symptoms in the first 48 to 72 hours. The following warning indicators should promptly prompt a physician’s evaluation of the youngster.

Head Injury and Concussion

  • Headache that is serious or worsening
  • I have a double vision.
  • Disparate students
  • Epileptic fits
  • unusual or worsening lethargy
  • Fluid or blood oozing out of the nose or ears
  • I vomit out of the blue
  • An unusual feeling of rigidity around the neck
  • Dramatic shifts in character
  • Limitation in the use of one or more limbs
  • Facial and limb numbness
  • As a second piece of advice, consider these:

You should only let the kid do something physically demanding or return to sports once a doctor gives the all-clear. Gentle activity, like walking, is within their capabilities.

  • Avoid using ibuprofen or aspirin to alleviate a headache within the first twenty-four hours. Keep acetaminophen (Tylenol) to yourself.
  • After an injury, limiting your child’s screen time for at least a day is essential.
  • You should let them use cold packs on their neck and head to alleviate the pain.
  • Insist on sticking to a regular eating and sleeping routine, and make sure they drink enough water.
  • Have your child checked out by a doctor or other trained medical expert specializing in concussion diagnosis and treatment. A lot is changing in our understanding of concussions. Be bold about inquiring about the doctor’s familiarity with current practices on concussion management.

Getting Over a Concussion

Working together is the best way to recover from concussions.

School, employment, and sports can all be impacted by concussions. School administration, including guidance counsellors, athletic trainers, employers, and the child’s coaches and instructors, should all be apprised about the injury and their responsibilities in assisting the child’s recovery. 

All group members must communicate clearly to avoid causing the child distress and confusion.

What Role Does Mental Rest Play in the Healing Process?

Excessive brain strain exacerbates symptoms of a concussion, which alters normal brain function. For the first two to three days after injury, it can help to avoid using your brain too much by avoiding screens and other mentally taxing activities.

How can I ensure that my child gets enough mental rest?

Head Injury and Concussion

  • Try not to do anything too taxing on your mind for at least the first two days.
  • Use of computers and the Internet
  • Playing video games
  • Television
  • Mobile phone usage and texting
  • Flashing lights, like the kind used at school dances
  • Jamming out or listening to music on earbuds
  • Audible sounds
  • Various events such as concerts, pep rallies, parties, etc.
  • Driving Employment

What Should I Do When I See That My Child Is Overthinking?

After the first two days, you should monitor your child’s mood and symptoms to determine how much mental stimulation is necessary. It would be wise to avoid mentally taxing activities (including school, job, homework, etc.) when symptoms are bad (usually in the initial days after an injury).

Youngsters should engage in more mental activities connected to education as their symptoms improve. You should keep an eye on your symptoms as the difficulty level rises. “Are you experiencing any symptoms?” 

Since you began this exercise, have your problems worsened?

 Get the kid to stop what they’re doing and rest if they say their symptoms are getting worse. Avoid asking your youngster how they feel too frequently or fixating on their symptoms.

Some days, your symptoms may be minimal, and others may be slightly severe. You should expect this while you heal. The boundary between an appropriate level of mental activity and an unhealthy amount may be blurry. 

The real challenge is finding that sweet spot where symptoms are minimized to the greatest extent feasible.

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What Impact Does a Concussion Have on the Classroom?

Concentration, memory, and focus are all cognitive abilities that can be impaired after a concussion, making it difficult to do schoolwork. 

Some students may find that academic accommodations, such as reduced school day attendance, tutoring, or additional time to do homework or exams, alleviate their symptoms and improve their academic performance.

Share any written suggestions you received from your child’s doctor or nurse with their teachers after you inform them that your child has suffered a concussion. 

Educators can find helpful information about academic accommodations for students healing from concussions in a book called An Educator’s Guide to Concussions in the Classroom by Nationwide Children’s.

What Role Does Physical Activity Play in the Healing Process?

It’s best to do light exercises the week following the accident to speed up the healing process. Reducing symptoms after a concussion and avoiding physical deconditioning are also possible outcomes. 

When recovering from a concussion, it’s crucial to exercise so that it doesn’t aggravate your symptoms. Beginning with light walking and then increasing to moderate to vigorous exercise as tolerated is an excellent place to start.

 It is essential to wait for a doctor’s clearance before allowing your child to return to activities like gym class or sports, which pose a danger of further head trauma.

When is it safe for a child to return to gym class and/or sports after suffering a concussion?

Head Injury and Concussion

No youngster should return to contact sports or other activities that could cause further head trauma until authorized to do so by a qualified medical professional. The kid needs to be entirely back to normal at school without any signs of a concussion. 

To aid in determining recovery from concussion, your child’s doctor may use balance tests, computerized neurocognitive testing, and other evaluation methods. Your child should follow the Return to Sport progression outlined below once cleared. A trained athletic trainer best oversees the child during this period.

If your child’s symptoms don’t return, completing the whole process should take at least a week because each stage should take at least 24 hours. 

(Please be aware that your healthcare practitioner may decide to prolong this timeframe for younger athletes, those with particularly severe or long-lasting symptoms, or those who have had concussions in the past.) 

Your child should discontinue and try again the following day if their symptoms worsen or return at any point.

Reducing Time Spent Not Competing (RTS) Method

The first three steps in treating a concussion can be initiated while the patient is still experiencing symptoms. After the symptoms and any cognitive or clinical findings associated with the concussion have subsided, especially with physical activity, you should proceed to steps 4-6.

  • Move on
  • Workout Methods
  • Example Activities
  • Goal
  • minimally invasive treatment
  • Things you can do every day without experiencing any symptoms.
  • Resumption of work or school responsibilities gradually
  • Aerobic activity, first mild and then moderate
  • Stairs to a moderate level, followed by a brisk walk.
  • Rapidly elevate heart rate
  • Personalized workout regimens for athletes
  • Conditioning exercises for running or skating! Things that could cause harm to the head are not allowed.
  • Incorporate motion and directional changes.
  • Physically safe training exercises
  • More complex and intense drills with other teammates
  • Typical levels of physical exertion, motor control, and cognitive enhancement
  • Active participation
  • Take part in the usual training exercises.
  • The coaching staff will evaluate functioning abilities and restore confidence.
  • Sporting life again
  • Game play as usual.

What Are Some Things I Can Do To Protect My Child Against Head Trauma?

  • Your child’s risk of concussion can be reduced by taking specific measures.
  • Always examine and maintain your child’s equipment to ensure it fits properly.
  • Instruct your youngster to be a good sport and adhere to the regulations of your chosen activity.
  • Instruct your youngster to pay attention to the coaches and to use proper form.

Most children will make a full recovery after just one concussion if it is identified and treated correctly. But it takes longer for kids to recover, and they’re more likely to have symptoms that stay after many concussions in their early sports careers. Hence, you must guarantee your child receives optimal treatment and management for their concussion.

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How Can I Let Other People Know About This Resource?

A no-cost in-service on the subject is available from the sports medicine department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. You can adjust the presentation’s duration and content to match the demands of your group.

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How Can I Acquire Further Knowledge?

When managing concussions, other sports-related injuries, and fitness well-being, we offer additional instructional tools, presentations, and printed materials.

To effectively treat pediatric concussions, the Concussion Center at Nationwide Children’s draws on the knowledge of specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, neuropsychology, physical therapy, athletic training, neurosurgery, and radiology.

Baseline neurocognitive (concussion) testing is available at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine to assess a healthy athlete’s decision-making, reaction time, attention, and memory abilities.

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