A new sport season is about to kick off and that means all sorts of active fun. But are your kids playing it safe? If they do get hurt, do you know how to identify a concussion? And do you know what to do? These are questions every parent should be asking themselves whenever their child begins a sport.
A fall, a bump, a knock, or blow to the body can happen in almost any sport. But if the force from that hit affects your head, it can injure your brain and leave you with a concussion.
Kids are more susceptible to suffering a concussion because their bodies haven’t fully developed. They’re smaller, have weaker muscles, and thinner skulls than adults. They’re also more active, rambunctious, and not fully aware of the risks.
While we hear a lot about concussions in contact sports like football and hockey, it doesn’t mean those are the only ones. Young athletes can also get concussed taking part in all sorts of sports activities – soccer, skiing, field hockey, and cycling.
If your child has taken hit to the head, you need to know what to watch for. Common concussion symptoms include:
- confusion or feeling “in a fog”
- light and noise sensitivity
- drowsiness or fatigue
- dizziness or loss of balance
- nausea and vomiting
- nervousness or irritability
- difficulty with concentration
- memory problems
If any of these symptoms are present and you think your kid has suffered a concussion, take immediate action. The first step is an immediate stop to all play. No sporting moment, big or small, is worth risking your child’s health. After that, seek medical help. That means a trip to the emergency room or the family doctor for a proper assessment. Once they’re home, keep them hydrated, rested, and off the field of play. Recovering from a concussion is a serious matter and it takes time.
If left untreated, a concussion can lead to bigger problems down the road – including permanent brain injury and even death. And no game or trophy is worth risking that.
For more information
- Important to monitor school-aged athletes for head injuries: expert, News1130
- Concussion hotline launches staffed by volunteer specialists, CBC
- HEADS UP to Youth Sports: Parents, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Concussion Facts, Sports Concussion Institute