Checking children for concussions

Checking kids for concussions

AUSTIN - While football has put a lot of attention on concussions in the last few years, a local doctor says kids can get them from activities are less physical than football.

Meredith Phipps, a pediatric nurse practitioner at SportsSafe, works with kids who have brain injuries. Often those kids are student athletes with concussions.

“A lot of the kids want to get right back to sports, ‘When can I return to football? When can I return to soccer?’” Phipps said.

Phipps said what they need is rest, something that might be counterintuitive to some parents.

"Disrupting their sleep, which is the thing that you do, that you use the most to help heal concussions, you're actually preventing the healing process,” said Dr. Ross Tobleman, Baylor Scott and White Emergency Medical Director in Round Rock.

Parents don’t want to allow their child to go back to rough physical activity, but Tobleman said something like a light walk can actually help heal the brain. While parents don’t want to limit a child’s time with friends, it is advisable to limit their time in front of computer, TV or cell phone screens.

Tobleman said he checks five things to see how serious a concussion may be:

  • Loss of consciousness,
  • Not being able to move an arm or leg,
  • Altered mental status,
  • Nausea and vomiting, or
  • Severe headache that won't go away.

“The younger you are, it actually takes a lot longer to get better,” Phipps said. She added the healing process takes on average 3-4 weeks.

Tobleman said it is really important for parents to talk with kids about the symptoms of concussions. Some athletes won’t tell coaches or parents because they don’t want to come off the field.

Go here for more information about concussions from the CDC.

Go here for concussion information from the University Interscholastic League.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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