Concussions & Kids: What Parents Need to Know

LEAN-Concussion-headerPlaying organized sports is a great way to teach kids the importance of discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship and instill in them healthy habits when it comes to being active. But some sports, like football, soccer, baseball, softball and cheerleading, carry with them the risk of a blow to the head and as a result, a concussion. In the last decade, sports-related concussions have almost doubled. Once considered a minor problem, these brain injuries are now recognized for the long-term damage they can cause, especially when they occur several times.

If your child is playing a sport where a concussion could occur, there’s no need to panic and pull them from the team or wrap them in bubble wrap. You should be proactive though, and educate yourself on the signs of a concussion and ways to prevent them.

 Symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Blurred Vision
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of Balance
  • Sluggishness

And here are three simple ways to cut the chance of your child getting a concussion:

  • Make sure they wear a helmet when batting in baseball, always when on the field in football, and even when they’re not playing on a team but doing things like riding their bike, skateboarding or any activity where there is a chance they’ll hit their head, whether it be on someone else, a ball or the ground. Plus, ask your child’s football coach if they’re teaching the new, better ways to tackle and hit. Several youth recreational organizations and school athletic associations have instituted new rules for safer play.
  •  If your child does suffer a concussion, listen to your doctor. Make sure they get adequate rest and don’t start playing again until they are completely symptom-free.
  •  Kids in better physical shape overall tend to be at lower risk of concussion. Make sure your child is eating right, sleeping well and is ready to handle the challenges of the sport they are playing.

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