Is your child engaged in some high contact sports on a regular basis? Are they a ferocious little fighter that always wants to get into the thick of the action without considering the potential for injury?
If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then you should be extra attentive to the signs and symptoms of a concussion. Concussions have become a major talking point in professional football and hockey because they are becoming far too common as the physical strength of players keeps improving. But it’s not even that they are more common place today than ever before. Research into the long-term side-effects of concussions has revealed a lot of startling facts about head injuries that we may have suspected, but did not know for sure. So the potential for concussions has increased at the same time as we are learning just how harmful they are for long-term mental health.
Concussions in Youth Sports Are Rare
Lucky for you, concussions are more a phenomenon of professional sports than recreational youth sports. However, that is no reason to be negligent.
Here are some common symptoms of a concussion to look out for in your child:
The most obvious side-effect is headaches. If your child has suffered a concussion they will undoubtedly begin to experience waves of headaches on a consistent basis. To be even more exact, most concussion-related headaches feel like there is a surprising amount of pressure in the head (as opposed to a dull or sharp pain otherwise associated with headaches). If your child describes a sensation of pressure, then take them right to the doctor.
Don’t let yourself explain dizziness as a sign of fatigue, hunger, or thirst. While it’s possible your child is dizzy for these reasons, it is also possible they are dizzy from a minor concussion from their soccer game the night before.
Another symptom that is hard to isolate as ‘concussion-related’ is vomiting. If your child vomits for no apparent reason, begin asking about any knocks or bumps they have received recently. If they are unable to remember the specifics of a particularly bad knock, it could be that they are suffering from amnesia related to a concussion.
Is your child usually rambunctious? If they have suddenly become listless and aimless, it could be linked to a concussion. You will notice this listlessness a day or so after the event, so make sure to check in with your child as much as possible about how their game or practice went.
Change in Eating Habits
The final symptom to mention here is a change in appetite. Specifically, a loss of appetite in combination with any one of the other symptoms mentioned above is cause for concern.
How Long Should You Wait?
If you suspect any symptoms are linked to a concussion, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. There is no way to be sure of a concussion without getting the appropriate medical tests done. Needless to say, the cost of skipping treatment for a concussion could have negative ramifications on the future mental health of your child – so it’s always best to be thorough.