We have seen comic movies or magazines portraying concussion in funny ways. Some show that the person hit on the brain suffers from amnesia right away or starts blabbering meaningless sentences. But the effects of a concussion are much more!
Brain injuries due to a bump or blow in the head can be called as concussions and during these times the brain literally jerks inside the skull. These concussions cause chemical changes in the brain and temporary changes in normal brain function. Categorized as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), these should be given immediate attention and treated properly.
Kids Versus Adults
We keep hearing that a child’s brain attains maximum development by the age of 5. Though we don’t know much about childhood concussions, we do know that maximum growth and development of a child’s brain happens during childhood and concussions during this stage can impact the brain seriously.
The nature of the impact is unknown-short-term, long-term, temporary or permanent. Physicians feel that diagnosing or treating a child for concussion is challenging as children don’t or can’t articulate symptoms and they will not be precise in describing their pain.
Signs & Symptoms
- Loss of consciousness is a major symptom but not a mandatory symptom.
- Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, dizziness and blurred vision are other common symptoms.
- Post-concussion symptoms include lack of concentration, headache, memory problems, confusion, behavioral changes and trouble with schoolwork.
While the child may look perfectly normal soon after the injury, symptoms might begin to appear hours, days or even weeks later.
- Quickly remove the child from the play or activity area that caused the injury.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Position the child face up, keeping the heads and shoulders slightly raised and do not move the kid unless there are some emergency demands.
- Stop bleeding by applying firm pressure to the wound with a sterile gauze or clean cloth. Ensure that you don’t apply pressure directly if you doubt it to be skull fracture.
- Keep monitoring the kid’s breathing and alertness. If there is any change in either of these, begin CPR. Doing a CPR needs some techniques and methods to be followed, details of which are available in the website www.firsteatright.com.
Head injuries take time to heal. Physical and cognitive thinking skills must be put to rest completely for a day or two after the concussion and the kid can return to normal activities gradually over time. Children attending school after a concussion must be given a shorter day at school to avoid any stressful activity on their brain and refrain from reading or jogging activities, if they cause a headache.
Having a concussion once puts the child at a risk for another. The risk of having concussions repeatedly over the years can multiply.