Concussion protocol for kids: Here’s what to look for
Kids tend to run around with energy that seems to never fade, and that can lead to some bumps on the head if they aren’t paying attention. It’s not abnormal for kids to accidentally hit their heads every once in a while, and those accidents aren’t always a cause for concern. But some head trauma is more serious than others, especially if they play sports, so it’s important to know about concussions and the proper concussion protocol for kids.
Concussions are common in adolescents. Based on data from a 2020 study, 6.8% of adolescents up to the age of 17 have experienced symptoms of a brain injury or concussion in their lifetime. The risk increases as they get older, as 2% of children under 5 experienced symptoms before it jumps to 12.2% for teens aged 12 to 17. With concussions being so common in adolescents, it’s important to know the concussion protocol to ensure proper treatment, and that’s what we’re here to teach you.
Read on to learn about the basics of concussions, signs to look for in your child and proper concussion protocol. You’ll also learn the benefits of concussion physical therapy and why it’s an option that should be explored after receiving professional medical treatment.
The basics of concussions
A concussion refers to a traumatic head injury that affects the brain’s function and usually comes from a blow to the head that can be caused by a variety of accidents. But they are commonly the result of a fall or blunt force while playing a sport.
A concussion can affect a person’s:
12 signs of a concussion to look out for in your kid
It’s important to remember that the symptoms of a concussion don’t always immediately occur after the traumatic blow. It can take days for them to appear and they might not be the most noticeable, which is why you should know the signs to look for in your kid after an accident so that you can follow concussion protocol.
There are many signs of a concussion to be aware of. Some may be physical symptoms, while others refer to behavioral changes.
Twelve signs of a concussion to look for:
- Nausea and/or vomiting.
- Blurry vision.
- Loss of memory surrounding traumatic events.
- Slurred speech.
- Personality changes, such as increased irritability.
- Sensitivity to noise and light.
- Ringing in the ear.
- Sleep disturbances.
Concussion protocol for treatment
If your child isn’t showing any signs of a concussion, and you don’t notice any changes in their behavior, emergency care isn’t necessary. But it’s always recommended to see a doctor following a head injury to get a proper evaluation.
Emergency medical assistance should be contacted after head trauma if the child:
- Repeatedly vomits.
- Loses consciousness for more than 30 seconds.
- Has worsening headaches.
- Develops weakness in their limbs.
- Has coordination problems.
- Becomes confused or disoriented.
- Has seizures or convulsions.
Concussion physical therapy
If a child gets treated by a doctor for a concussion, then the next step should be exploring the option of concussion physical therapy. After a brain injury, a physical therapist can examine the impact of the concussion to determine the proper treatment plan. It’s essential that a kid doesn’t participate in sports or vigorous physical activity while they exhibit signs of a concussion.
The goal of concussion physical therapy is to reduce the lingering symptoms so that the adolescent can properly recover and return back to their regular routines and sports.
Concussion physical therapy can help:
- Determine the length/requirements of the rest and recovery period.
- Restore endurance and strength through an exercise plan.
- Improve balance and decrease dizziness with exercises and training.
- Reduce headaches with targeted exercises, treatments and hands-on techniques.
- Evaluate and treat neck issues that may stem from concussions.
If the child is an athlete, then not only can concussion physical therapy help them restore their strength and endurance so they can play again, but it also reduces the risk of sustaining another brain injury while concussion symptoms are still present.
REPAIR SI can help with concussion protocol for kids
Concussions can be serious brain injuries with symptoms that linger, so it can be scary when you suspect that your child has sustained one after blunt head trauma.
But the good news is that if you know the signs to look out for, and the concussion protocol to follow, then you can make sure they are properly treated as safely and effectively as possible. To ensure that their damaged functions are properly restored, especially if the child is an athlete, concussion physical therapy is the way to go. And that’s where we come in.