Signs of A Concussion in Young Players
Each sports season, approximately 10% of all athletes involved in contact sports suffer a concussion, a common but serious traumatic brain injury resulting from a blow to the head. Studies show that 40% of high school athletes who have suffered a concussion return to play too soon, risking additional and sometimes permanent brain damage.
“Concussion can occur in any sport and ninety percent occur without loss of consciousness. So it is vital that every adult who comes into contact with student athletes understand the risks and know the signs and symptoms of concussion,” said Jennifer Gray, DO, medical co-director of ThinkSMART!™, St. Charles Hospital’s comprehensive concussion management program.
“It is important to schedule an appointment with a physician experienced in concussion management 48-72 hours after suspected injury, However, do not hesitate to seek emergency care if your child’s speech is slurred, one pupil is larger than the other, your child loses conciousness, experiences numbness, exhibits clumsy or unusual behavior, has repeated nausea or vomiting, or complains of a worsening headache, ” Gray warns.
Parents, teachers and coaches should be alert for signs and symptoms that worsen over time.
Signs of concussion that can be observed include:
- Appearing to be dazed or stunned
- Loss of consciousness (even briefly)
- Memory loss
- Moving clumsily
- Slurred speech
- Being slow to answer questions
- Behavior or personality changes
Symptoms of concussion frequently reported include:
- Balance deficits
- Sensitivity to light
For more information about ThinkSMART!™, St. Charles Hospital’s comprehensive concussion management program, click here.