- Unequal pupil size
- Delayed verbal and/or motor responses
- Unusual irritability
- Poor coordination
- Sensitivity to light or sound
1. Keep your teen out of play. If your child or teen has a concussion, her/his brain needs time to heal. Don’t let your child or teen return to play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says he or she is symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first—usually within a short period of time (hours, days, or weeks)—can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage, and even death.
2. Seek medical attention right away. A health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your child or teen to return to sports.
3. Teach your child or teen that it’s not smart to play with a concussion. Rest is key after a concussion. Sometimes athletes wrongly believe that it shows strength and courage to play injured. Discourage others from pressuring injured athletes to play. Don’t let your child or teen convince you that s/he’s “just fine.”
4. Tell all of your child or teen’s coaches and the school nurse about ANY concussion. Coaches, school nurses, and other school staff should know if your child or teen has ever had a concussion. Your child or teen may need to limit activities while s/he is recovering from a concussion. Things such as studying, driving, working on a computer, playing video games, or exercising may cause concussion symptoms to reappear or get worse. Talk to your health care professional, as well as your child or teen’s coaches, school nurse, and teachers. If needed, they can help adjust your child or teen’s school activities during her/his recovery.
We now take several precautions as a family to prevent any further head injuries. Helmets and face masks are worn in every contact sport. Helmets are also worn for bike riding. We are careful to keep the stairs clutter free, and bath rugs with rubber bottoms are placed in the bathrooms.
As a school nurse, I am much more aware of signs and symptoms. Luke is able to participate in PE and recess, but I am very particular about which games and sports he plays, and also the supervision he is getting.
For instance, on Fridays his entire first grade is usually in the gym playing. On this day, he does not participate
More information can be found at the following links:
Health Care Professionals:
To learn more about the Heads Up initiatives and to order your own materials, visit http://www.cdc.gov/concussion.
You can also share your stories and ask the CDC questions at http://www.facebook.com/cdcheadsup
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