Kids & Concussions

Pediatrician Dr. George Bengtson explained how to identify a concussion and what parents and coaches should do if a child is determined to have suffered a concussion.

Definition of concussion: Mild traumatic brain injury which interferes with brain function

Who gets concussions? (Concussions per 100,000 player exposures)

 Football   52
 Girls’ Lacrosse  39
 Girls’ Soccer   35
 Boys’ Lacrosse  32
 Wrestling  22
 
What’s the big deal?
Second Impact Syndrome
 Re-injury before recovery from previous injury
 Can lead to potentially lethal brain swelling
 Chronic post-concussion syndrome (long-term neurologic problems)

Recognition/Symptoms
 If unsure, assume it’s a symptom
 Loss of consciousness  Headache
 Nausea/Vomiting   Memory loss/confusion
 Lethargy    Emotional lability
 Light/sound sensitivity  Dizziness

Early intervention by experienced personnel
Importance of education for Coaches & Trainers
Max’s Law: No return to play (RTP) on same day
Multiple instruments for evaluating athletes
 IMPACT
 SCAT
 ACE

Treatments:
Mostly observation and testing
Multi-disciplinary (Physical/Occupational therapy, Speech, Ophthalmology)
Prescription meds
Fish oil, Tylenol

The Big Question: Return to play?
Step-wise program guided by symptoms
 Rest
 Light aerobics
 Sport-specific exercise
 Non-contact drills
 Full-contact training
  RTP
 At least 24 hours at each stage, returning to first stage if symptoms recur

BEWARE OF QUICK, INFORMAL TRIAGE AND EARLY RETURN TO PLAY

GET TO KNOW YOUR COACHES AND THEIR APPROACH TO THE PROBLEM

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