Concussion and Kids – A Growing Concern
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury. Young athletes – playing in youth leagues, club sports, organized sports leagues and middle-school and high school teams – are suffering concussions at an accelerating rate.
Concussions are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. A concussion can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works.
At Foresight Chiropractic Wellness Center, we believe it’s critical that parents, coaches and athletes understand how best to prevent, recognize and treat concussions. We recommend a 3-Step Plan:
1. Establish the Athlete’s Brain Health Baseline
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): “Baseline tests are used to assess an athlete’s balance and brain function, as well as for the presence of any concussion symptoms. Results from baseline tests (or pre-injury tests) can be used and compared to a similar exam conducted by a health care professional during the season if an athlete has a suspected concussion.”
Experts are recommending that young athletes test and assess their brain health before participating in sports and before injuries if possible. Having a baseline or pre-injury test assists in verifying degree of trauma and when it is safe to return to play.
2. Know the Signs and Symptoms
You cannot see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or can take days or weeks to appear and may include:
· Nausea or vomiting
· Balance problems
· Double or fuzzy vision
· Sensitivity to light or noise
· Feeling groggy, foggy or sluggish
· Concentration or memory problems
· Nervousness or anxiety
· Sleeping more or less than usual
3. Seek Medical Attention
Parents and coaches of every school athletic team and every extracurricular athletic activity should be trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of brain injury, including concussions. If an athlete is suspected as having sustained a concussion, implement the CDC’s recommended 4-step action plan:
1. Remove the athlete from play. When in doubt, keep the athlete out of play.
2. Ensure the athlete is evaluated by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for a concussion.
3. Inform the athlete’s parents or guardians about the possible concussion and give them a fact sheet on concussions.
4. Keep the athlete out of play until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for a concussion, says they are symptom-free and it is okay to return.
Locally in the Phoenix, AZ area, Foresight Chiropractic Wellness Center is pioneering the use of the Clear Edge Brain Health Toolkit, which provides a suite of separate testing applications and questionnaires to efficiently measure subtle changes in balance and cognitive function objectively, quantitatively and reliably. It’s easy and affordable!
For more information about Clear Edge Brain Testing, call Foresight Chiropractic Wellness Center at 480-325-6977. The Doctors are Board Certified Atlas Orthogonal upper cervical specialist, providing very precise and gentle care for the entire family. Dr. Keith Lavender is also a Certified Advanced Muscle Integration Technique Practitioner specializing in competitive sports injuries. The growing health concern for our young athletes is very real. Their future is at stake. When traumatic brain injuries are not handled properly, when players are back on the field or court too soon, more damage and health issues are nearly a guarantee. Call today for a free consultation.