Mayo Clinic defines a concussion as a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. The effects of a concussion are usually temporary, however, can include problems with headache, concentration, memory, judgment, balance and coordination. Most concussions are caused by a blow to the head, but they can also occur when the head and upper body are violently shaken. These type of injuries can cause a loss of consciousness, but most concussions do not. Therefore, some people have concussions and don’t realize it. Concussions are very common, particularly if you play a contact sport, such as football.
Greenwich Hospital of the Yale New Haven Health Center has reported in a September 12, 2012 news release: “Concussion Awareness Helps Reduce Long-Term Complications.” Although involvement in school sports is generally considered a healthy thing for your child to do both physically and mentally, there are concerns that the pressure to play harder and practice longer hours is associated with an increased risk of head injury. It has been observed that falls during horseback riding, cheerleading and gymnastics activities have been producing concussions at an increasing rate, along with the more obvious contact sports like football and soccer.
Neurologist Frederick Nahm, MD, PhD, and head of the Stroke Center at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut has said “A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (or TBI) and it is similar to a stroke in that both affect normal brain function and may have similar symptoms.” The Immediate symptoms of a concussion may include confusion, disorientation and sometimes falling unconscious. It is dangerous to ignore these symptoms. If you have a head injury it is very important to seek a proper evaluation. It is advised that a child with a concussion should rest, and refrain from physical as well as cognitive activities that require concentration.
Parents should be involved to get the injured child to allow the brain to rest as part of the healing process. If proper healing does not occur a student who never had a hard time doing well in school may develop anxiety about performance at school, and may find that no matter how much effort they put into it, they can no longer manage to hold the grade point average they had prior to injury. There is an increased risk of second impact syndrome if the child returns to normal activity without time for proper healing. Second impact syndrome carries a far more serious threat of long-term complications. So, you should take all head injuries seriously and consult with your doctor for a proper evaluation.