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After Your Child Has a Concussion

The human skull is designed to protect the brain from external injury. However, a fall or blow to the head can cause the soft tissue of the brain to move violently or strike against the hard shell of the skull, which can result in a concussion. This type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) can also happen when the head moves forward and back too quickly, for instance, in a car crash or other accident. Children are at risk for concussion every time they are on the playground, riding a bike or playing contact sports. Most concussions do not cause serious damage, but parents should be alert to potential problems.

The Boston Children’s Hospital recommends that any child with a head injury see a primary physician for a checkup, even if there was no loss of consciousness. Parents should also watch for the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Problems with memory, concentration or balance

Coaches for middle school or high school athletic teams should follow correct concussion protocols, but sometimes they cut corners to get a star player back on the field. This is unconscionable, given what we now know about the dangers of sustaining multiple concussions. People who have not completely recovered from a concussion are in danger of suffering serious brain injury if they have another concussion.

Society is moving toward recognition of this injury. Previously, a head injury was thought of as a “ding.” Those dark days are over.

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