Each year in the United States, almost 2 million kids under the age of 18 get a concussion, or a mild traumatic brain injury that occurs after a blow to the head. It causes chemical changes in the brain and damage to the brain cells.
At the Medinet Family Care Clinic in Houston, Texas, Dr. Bharat Gandhi and our skilled team want you to be educated on concussions and how to care for your child should they get one.
Recognize the signs of a concussion
While children will have the same symptoms of a concussion as an adult, they are going to be less likely to communicate how they’re feeling in an exact or accurate way. As a parent, it’s important to know the signs of a concussion so you’re able to quickly spot one in your child.
Knowing how to recognize the signs of a concussion may not be enough on its own. It’s also important to share what a concussion looks like to your child. When kids are aware of the symptoms, they’re more apt to inform you they have concussion symptoms, which typically leads to a faster recovery.
These are some symptoms you and your child can watch out for:
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Persistent headaches
- Ongoing pressure in the head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Inability to concentrate
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Slurred or slow speech
- Drastic mood changes
- Memory loss or confusion
- Loss of consciousness
Concussion symptoms can often be delayed, and it could take several days for them to set in. If you think your child might have a concussion, it’s crucial to track their symptoms to see if they get worse, or if they seem to pop up after being exposed to certain triggers. The first 24-48 hours after a concussion are vital. Even if your child’s symptoms are mild, there’s still potential for brain damage.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends always taking your child to the doctor for an evaluation as soon as possible, preferably within a day or two of any head injury.
Recovering from a concussion injury
Your child will probably need 20-40% more sleep after a concussion in order to help them recover properly. If you’re worried about the risks of sleeping with a concussion, you can periodically check your child’s breathing as they rest.
Your child will probably want to return to school and sports as soon as they can. However, if they resume those regular activities too quickly, it may be detrimental. Kids should return to school before they start sports back up. Even after going back to school, they may need to have added breaks and a lighter course load.
It’s important not to return to high levels of physical activity too soon. However, light physical exercise has been shown to speed up recovery. With low levels of activity, like taking regular walks with you, blood flow is increased in the brain to encourage healing.
Make sure to consult with your pediatrician or Dr. Gandhi before your child resumes low to moderate physical activity.
Educate your child about concussions
One of the best ways to prevent concussions is to talk to your child about them. Educate your child on sports safety. Make sure your child knows to always wear a helmet when they engage in activities with an increased risk of head injury, whether they’re playing football or riding a bicycle. Most importantly, teach them to speak up if they experience a head injury, no matter how mild it may initially feel.
Get in touch today for prompt care
If you suspect your child has a concussion, Medinet Family Care Clinic can help. Bring your child in for a symptom evaluation and proactive treatment plan so they can have the best possible recovery.
Call 409-996-2058 to reach Medinet Family Care Clinic today, or use our easy online booking feature to schedule an appointment any time. We also offer urgent care services if you feel it’s a minor emergency and needs to be seen without 24 hours.