Child Wellness: Concussion risks
If your child plays contact sports, they are at risk for a concussion. Recognition and proper response when a concussion first occurs can help prevent further injury, or even death. Marcie Fraser reports.
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"Concussions in younger people are much more serious and more likely to have long term consequences," said Dr. Jim Storey, a neurologist.
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.
"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,” said Dr. Storey.
Many studies are being done looking at potential long term effects.
"Memory and personality disorders, there have been reports of some of the Parkinson or Parkinson-like symptoms,” said Dr. Storey.
Other studies are looking 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," said Dr. Storey.
Screening before the season starts is important. It's called a pre-screening baseline impact test. If your child plays contact sports and hasn't had one, he or she needs one.
"They are looking at recall, there are memory tests are given, balance done, they go though the tests that is their scores, that is their comparison points," Dr. Storey explained.