Parents know that kids get a lot of bumps on the head, but just how common are concussion among children? A recent study determined that as many as 1.1 million to 1.9 million children sustain sports and recreation related concussions each year—a staggering number1. Unfortunately, a national survey also has shown that many parents follow outdated advice on how to handle such head injuries2. They take such steps as waking a child who’s suffered a concussion several times throughout the night for symptom checks, they limit screen-time on electronic devices, and they restrict the child’s physical activity for a week after the injury, believing this is the best way to safeguard against further damage and promote healing. It turns out however that this type of care isn’t really all that helpful at all, and in some cases, it may hinder the fullest, swiftest recovery from a concussion.
So what should parents do when their child suffers a head injury? First, the potential for concussion should be recognized for what it is—a very real possibility with any head trauma that involves more than a very slight bump on the head. Concussions can happen to a child at any age, and at any time, not just during sports or recreational activities. Something as seemingly inconsequential as a fall to the floor or bump into a piece of furniture can cause a concussion. When head injuries are sports or recreational activity related, it should never be assumed that protective headgear eliminates the possibility of concussion. It’s always best to seek out the support of medical professionals at the time of a child’s injury if you have any doubt at all about how serious it may be.
The type of care a child needs following a concussion depends on the unique nature of their condition. Low-impact activities are usually perfectly safe, and it’s important to allow the child to get plenty of rest. In general, easing into normal levels of physical, mental and social activity is best. If the child is experiencing symptoms like headache, dizziness or mood disturbances, he or she should be evaluated by a qualified medical care provider, and ongoing care may be needed for some time.
Therapeutic support that focuses on the brain-body connection can facilitate the swift, complete recovery parents are seeking for their kids after a concussion. A functional neurologist will perform a comprehensive evaluation that includes an in-depth neurological exam. Using today’s latest technology and techniques, a practitioner who is trained in functional neurology can identify precise areas of damage and specific problems with brain connections. Then, customized therapeutic support that promotes the development of new connections can bring about recovery. The type of care functional neurologists provide is gentle, safe, drug-free and effective.
1Bryan, Mersine A., et al. “Sports- and Recreation-Related Concussions in US Youth.”Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics, 20 June 2016, pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/06/16/peds.2015-4635.
2Willets, Melissa. “Parents, We’re Caring for Kids’ Concussions All Wrong.” Parents, Parents, 6 Dec. 2017, www.parents.com/health/parents-news-now/parents-were-caring-for-kids-concussions-all-wrong/.