Child Concussions: What Parents Need to Know
Although sporting and recreational events like football, hockey, soccer, and ballet pose a risk for concussions and head injuries, it’s important for parents to remember that this should not be considered a normal part of the game, especially when frequent brain injuries occur. Additionally, parents of youth athletes need to stay informed about concussions, which symptoms to look for, and the appropriate treatment protocols.
How Concussions Impact a Child’s Brain
Concussions happen when a traumatic shaking of the brain occurs. Concussions can result in acute and long-term changes in brain physiology and function. Because young athletes still have developing brains, concussions are especially dangerous. Compared to a grown adult, the brain of a young child has less mass and more cerebrospinal fluid between the brain and the skull. Additionally, children’s brains have less mass in relation to the skull, which means their brains experience more acceleration.
Children’s brains are also more elastic or impressionable than the adult brain. Although this helps as children mature, it can have negative effects associated with brain injury because the child’s brain is less resistant to trauma.
Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion
Parents are in the best position to identify the signs and symptoms of a concussion in their children. Although aspects of sports culture encourage children to play through pain and hide symptoms from medical practitioners, parents should still attempt to pick up on the subtle signs that are commonly associated with concussions.
Signs and symptoms of concussions are usually classified into four categories:
- Physical: Headache, loss of consciousness, dizziness, numbness, fatigue, vision issues, diminished pupil reaction, dazed expressions, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light and noise, and vomiting.
- Cognitive: Mental slowing or fogginess.
- Emotional: Irritability, acting out of character, anxiety, and depression.
- Sleep Patterns: Excessive drowsiness, difficulty falling asleep, changing sleep patterns, and wakefulness.
When Should A Child Return to Sports Following a Concussion?
Although your child might be focused on returning to play, they need to have substantial rest, both physical and cognitive, before they should start playing sports again. The brain needs energy to function normally and heal, which is why it is crucial to rest and limit physical mental activities like watching TV, reading, playing video games, and texting.
Our legal team at Scarlett Law Group is here to answer your questions about seeking compensation for a sports-related concussion or traumatic brain injury. Please call (415) 688-2176 today to schedule a free case consultation.