Concussion danger: What parents can do to avoid injuries in kids
Published Thursday, March 1, 2018 6:00AM PST Last Updated Thursday, March 1, 2018 7:10PM PST
There are many health benefits associated with kids playing sports, but there are also risks. As the spring season gets underway, parents need to be aware of the dangers of concussions.
Emily Penner suffered a concussion playing basketball two years ago. The 15-year old went through months of physical therapy before fully regaining her balance.
Remembering the long and difficult road to recovery still gets her mother emotional.
“As a mom you just, you want to do everything for your child, but there is nothing you can do. There’s really nothing you can do to help,” said Diane Penner.
But there are things you can do to prevent an injury. For starters, talk to the coach.
“Have a conversation about player safety. You know, ask what coaches are doing, ask what they’re thinking about concussion prevention,” said Diane Umansky, Consumer Reports health editor.
And take any blow to the head seriously.
“If you think your child has had a concussion, pull them out of the game. You don’t want them to return to play on the same day as a concussion, even if you think their symptoms have resolved,” explained Orly Avitzur, Consumer Reports medical advisor.
Symptoms can come on quickly, or be delayed a day or two. Look out for things like nausea, headache, confusion, dizziness and memory problems.
Treatment depends on the extent of the injury. And while most symptoms resolve within a week or two, as Emily discovered, don’t be surprised if they linger.
You should be sure your child has medical clearance to go back to sports after a concussion. While healing, rest is important, but current thinking suggests it’s also OK to have some gentle physical activity such as walking in the first few days after a concussion, if your child is up to it. Getting up and around a bit may actually promote quicker healing.