Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Heads UP Against Concussion

CDC has come up with a 4 step Heads Up Against Concussion initiative to inform parents, coaches, clinicians and others about the dangers of head trauma and what to do in the case of one.  Personally, I  think that parents really do need to take this type of injury very seriously.  My child received a concussion from a fall at school in the third grade.  The seriousness of the fall was not picked up on right away and he was sent back to class.  Later he was acting out of character and a substitute teacher sent him to find me (I  worked on campus).  I immediately knew something was not right, called my Mom and went to the Emergency room.  After a cat scan it was confirmed he had a concussion.  For my child he was acting sad, and making no sense repeating himself, asking what had happened over and over.  He still has no memory of the accident.  It was very frightening as a Mom to go through.  Had I not gotten him and taken him to the hospital, he may have been more seriously injured by going out and playing football that day had he gotten knocked around some more.  He suffered severe migraine headaches for almost a year after this injury but other than that he was fine, cleared to resume regular activity and be a kid.  Thank goodness. 

What is a concussion? " A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. "CDC.   In the United States brain injuries are a common cause of Emergency Room visits, and can lead to death and disability.    After a concussion or head injury your brain needs time to recover.  It is now vulnerable and more sensitive to re injury which can be really dangerous. 

Symptoms of a Concussion:
hard time concentrating
memory loss
fuzzy or blurry vision
sleeping more than usual
feeling slowed down
nausea / vomiting (early on)
balance problems

If your child experiences any of these symptoms after a fall or bump to the head you should have them checked out by a physician. 

Kids are so active in sports and extracurricular activities injury can happen.  It is scary as a parent!    The CDC says that an athlete who receives a head injury should not be put back into the game until cleared by a physician.  The 4-step action plan should be put into action.  Make sure your coaches, teachers, and people that are around your child are aware of what should be done in this situation. 

4-Step Action Plan
1. Remove the athlete from play
2. Make sure that the child is evaluated by a health care professional experienced in looking for the signs of concussion
3. Inform the child's parents, and give them a sheet on the signs of concussion
4. Keep the child out of play the day of injury, and until a health care professional has cleared them to resume play

"Remember: Don’t Hide it. Report it. Take Time to Recover. It’s Better to Miss One Game than the Whole Season." (CDC)

To learn more about the Heads Up initiatives and to order your own materials, visit

I know no one wants to sit out, miss a game, look wimpy.   But you definitely do not want to be permanently disabled or worse dead by actions that could be avoided.  Take not of this, and God forbid something happen to your child set them out until properly evaluated.

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