Know these signs of a concussion to help determine when to seek treatment.
A concussion is a mild brain injury that can affect how your brain works. Because they’re caused by a blow to the head or body, concussions are common in sports. More than 300,000 sports-related concussions occur every year, and they occur most frequently in football, ice hockey and soccer.
Concussions don’t always knock athletes unconscious, why is why it’s important to understand the symptoms of a concussion and share them with your children. Ensuring your child understands these signs of a concussion and the need to communicate them with an adult will help protect their health.
Physical signs of a concussion
- Experiencing headaches or blurred vision
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue, low energy and problems sleeping
- Slowed reaction times
Psychological signs of a concussion
- Feeling emotional, irritable or increased anxiety
- Personality changes
Intellectual signs of a concussion
- Confusion, slowed thinking or mental fog
- Difficulty with attention span, memory or problem solving
What to do if your child is experiencing concussion symptoms
Continuing to play sports after a concussion is dangerous and can lead to longer recovery times. If your brain is not fully healed, you are much more likely to have another concussion. Repeat concussions not only take longer to heal, but in some cases, they can cause brain swelling or permanent damage in young athletes.
Concussions are often more severe in children because their brains are still developing, which makes them more susceptible to injury. Additionally, children are continuously learning in academic and social environments, and concussions significantly affect those abilities.
Only healthcare professionals are able to diagnose when a concussion has occurred. If you think your child has had a concussion, have them stop playing sports and visit your primary care doctor right away. Your doctor will let you know when it’s safe to return to sports.
If you’re in need of a primary care physician, Mercy Health has you covered. Call 513-952-5000 or visit mercy.com to find a doctor near you today.