Summer fun began and left! For some parents, that means the start of a new school year and a new active schedule, especially if you have a child in sports. It is ideal to want to keep your kids active in and outside of school, given, that playing a sport or being active can be exceedingly rewarding to you or your child’s social, mental, and physical health. As a parent to a new or developing athlete, these are the stages where monitoring your child’s physical health should increase. Unfortunately, with physical activity come injuries, commonly, concussions. With early detection, the likelihood of a shortened recovery time and an opportunity to a swift release back to full participation is abundant.
What is a concussion?
In a Forbes News article, Dr. A. Chainey Umphrey, concussion expert practicing at Kaiser Permanente’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in San Jose, briefs, “…a concussion is caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body that disrupts the function of the brain.” Dr. Umphrey extends, “that initial symptoms often appear quite mild but can lead to significant and lifelong impairment.”
Concussions are not to take lightly, statistics pulled from the UPMC Sports Medicine Program showed:
- Unreported or undetected concussions are 5 of 10
- High-school athletes participating in a contact sport — this year 2 of 10 will endure a concussion
Levels of a concussion vary from the person and how it may develop. Others may notice symptoms immediately or, even, weeks or months later. The Mayo Clinic addresses common concussion symptoms to be aware of during and after a sporting event, some include:
- Slow to rise after fall
- Light and noise sensitivity
- Confusion with memory
- Unstable first few steps after a collision
- Wandering in the wrong direction or team
- Needing a constant reminder for things or instructions
- Change in the mood
- Challenging to focus
If you or your child notice or mention developing signs of a concussion, always inform a coach, personal trainers, or physician right away. It is valuable to know the symptoms of injuries, not just for self, but for your loved ones or anyone you may know who is involved in any type of physical activity. A parent’s favorite motto, “safety first” and that’s for all aspects of your life.