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Child Wellness: Concussion risks
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If your child plays contact sports, they’re at risk for concussions.
Recognition and proper response when a concussion first occurs can help prevent further injury, or even death.
"Concussions in younger people are much more serious and more likely to have long term consequences," neurologist Dr. Jim Storey said.
A person does not have to lose consciousness to have suffered a concussion. Recognition and proper response when a concussion first occurs can help prevent further injury or even death.
Dr. Storey said some symptoms include, "acting dazed, they don't remember the play that just occurred, their concentration may be off, they may be staggering a bit, balance off a bit, those are the obvious symptoms, headache, blurry vision, dizziness.”
Many studies are now being conducted to look at potential long term effects.
"There have been reports of some of the Parkinson or Parkinson-like symptoms,” Dr. Storey said.
Other studies look at whether early dementia is also a consequence. Guidelines are now set up to let coaches know when it's safe for players to go back into play, and that depends on the severity or grade of the concussion.
"Someone who is knocked unconscious is a high grade, grade three. Those people are out of the competition for a minimum of two weeks. It depends on the severity, a couple of very minor ones, get your bell rung and you are find, these don't have the long term significance," Dr. Storey said.
Screening before the season starts, also known as pre-screening, is important. If your child plays contact sports and hasn't had one, he or she needs one.
"They are looking at recall, memory tests are given, balance tests done. They go though the tests, and that is their scores. That is their comparison points," Dr. Storey explained.