While parents often joke about the hard-headedness of their children, it is an unfortunate fact that even the most stubborn kids are still vulnerable to concussions. With football season in full swing, it is particularly important for parents to keep a watchful eye out for the signs and symptoms of concussions. The proper, immediate response can not only prevent an aggravated injury, but can also save a life.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs as a result of a bump to the head, or by rapid head/brain motion following a body blow. This abrupt movement can alter the brain, causing it to become even more vulnerable to injury. Concussions happen frequently in football and–unlike other sports injuries which can be felt or seen–are often overlooked. While there is no one indicator that a concussion has occurred, the condition can be assessed through several signs.
Athletes who experience one of more of these symptoms after a jolt to the body or head should be seen immediately by a medical professional:
- headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
- vomiting or nausea
- dizziness or balance issues
- blurred vision
- sensitivity to noise and/or light
- difficulty concentrating
- confusion and/or grogginess
Parents should also keep an eye out for clumsy movements, changes in personality or behavior, or a dazed appearance. While symptoms typically arise immediately, they can also come on gradually. And unlike the popular misconception, most concussions aren’t accompanied by loss of consciousness. If your child is diagnosed with a concussion, it is critical that the brain is allowed adequate time to heal.
While we’d like to surround our kids in a protective layer of bubble wrap before sending them out into the world–or onto the playing field–it’s not possible. (Well it is, but we don’t advise it.) Instead, implement proper safety measures–such as encouraging “Heads Up” blocking and tackling techniques, as well ensuring that equipment is properly fitted–and enlist the services of your trusted insurance agent to help you practice “Heads Up” parenting by choosing the right No-Surprise Insurance.