Concussion is a type of brain injury that causes the brain not to work normally. It typically occurs after a sudden bump, blow, or jolt to the head, face, or neck. These injuries can cause damage to the brain and need to be assessed urgently.
Concussions commonly occur during sports or accidental falls. It may or may not involve loss of consciousness.
one or more of the following symptoms are present, please seek medical attention immediately.
The most common cause of concussions in children and teenagers is head injury during contact sports such as rugby, football, and basketball, as well as non-contact sports such as cricket and softball.
While participating in sports is a great way for your child to make friends and stay active, here are some things you can do to ensure they stay safe while they play:
Concussions can also occur from falls at home (e.g. from a double-decker bed). Home fittings and furniture should be assessed for safety.
The diagnosis of concussion is made by the doctor after being informed about the symptoms during and after the injury, as well as after a physical examination of the injured child.
The child should follow this five stage plan:
Your child should not have any symptoms after each stage for at least a week before continuing to the next stage. Do not rush to the next stage if your child is not ready. If any symptoms recur, rest until symptoms resolve. The child may need to return to an earlier stage and scale up slowly again.
Studies have shown that a gradual return to play ensures your child will not only resolve their symptoms faster, but that they will be much safer when they are back to full contact play. If you would like any advice on how to carry this plan out, please approach your doctor or nurse for more information.
If your child has persistent complaints of headache, difficulty concentration, drowsiness or change in behaviour, please bring your child back to the Emergency Department.
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