According to the CDC, 3.5 million sports-related concussions occur each year in the United States. A concussion is an injury resulting from trauma to the brain resulting in a change in how the brain functions. Any hit or fall causing the brain to ‘shake’ within the skull can lead to a concussion. These traumatic events can be from a collision between two players, hitting an obstacle (such as the ground or goal post) or even from a hit to the body causing the head to suddenly change direction. Descriptions such as “dings” and “getting one’s bell rung” should be avoided because they minimize the severity of the injury.
Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
Below are some recommendations for you and your child once they have sustained a concussion. Please keep in mind that youth athletes may have a more prolonged recovery and may have a longer return to play progression
It is okay to:
There is no need to:
Do not allow your child to:
If any of the following develop, the athlete should be taken to the emergency room:
If your child has sustained an injury to their head, you should make an appointment with his or her primary care physician or a sports medicine specialist as soon as possible. A licensed health care professional will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your child to return to regular activities, including sports. It is Oregon State law that student athletes are prohibited from participating in any athletic event or training until medical release has been obtained from an appropriate health care professional (Physician (MD), Physician’s Assistant (PA), Doctor of Osteopathic (DO) licensed by the Oregon State Board of Medicine, nurse practitioner licensed by the Oregon State Board of Nursing, or Psychologist licensed by the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners) for any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion.
Your child may have some trouble in some classes at school or even with activities at home. At school, you may need to:
Make sure you talk with your child’s teachers, school nurse, coach and athletic trainer about your child’s concussion and symptoms. As your child’s symptoms decrease, the extra help or support can be removed gradually. Just as your child will gradually return to school, they will also gradually return back into sport activity after a concussion. Your child will follow a ‘return to sport progression’ once all the concussion symptoms have resolved.
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