What parents need to know about children and concussions - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Friday, 16 February 2018

What parents need to know about children and concussions

#AskSimonDiamond

Children always seem to be doing something. Whether riding a bicycle or playing an organized sport, the activities children participate in putting them at risk of suffering a concussion due to an injury to the head. The Government of Canada reports that 64 percent of hospital emergency department visits by children between 10 and 18 years of age are related to sports or other physical activities, and doctors determined that 39 percent of those children were diagnosed with concussions and another 24 percent were suspected of having concussions. Given those statistics, here is what every parent needs to know about their children and concussions.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is an injury to the brain. The brain has the ability to move within the hard skull that is intended to protect it. A blow to the head, face, neck or even a sudden jolt to the body can cause a child’s brain to strike the inside of the skull. The injury this trauma causes to the nerves within the brain is what is commonly referred to as a concussion.

Common causes of concussions

Children are exposed on a daily basis to risks that could cause a trauma to the brain. Common examples include:

  • Falling while riding a bicycle
  • Heading a soccer ball
  • Being checked while playing hockey
  • Falling from playground equipment
  • Car accidents
  • Skiing
  • Ice skating

The list of potential causes of injuries to the brain is limitless. Even walking to school during the winter and slipping on an ice-covered sidewalk could cause a concussion.

Symptoms of a concussion

As a parent, your best course of action if your child suffers an injury to the head is to seek an evaluation from a doctor immediately. Common complaints or symptoms associated with a concussion include:

  • Problems with coordination
  • Unable to maintain balance
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Loss of memory
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Feeling extremely sleepy
  • Speech difficulties

The trauma suffered by the brain that causes a concussion cannot be diagnosed through X-rays or other conventional tests. Doctors rely upon an examination of the child and responses to questions designed to test whether there is impairment in memory, concentration, and focus.

Loss of consciousness is not present in all cases in which a child suffers a concussion. One of the problems with concussions is that a child suffering a blow to the head might not complain of symptoms right away, so it is important for parents, teachers and other adults supervising children at play to not allow a child with a head injury to return to physical activities before being evaluated by a doctor.

Treatment for a concussion

Rest is what doctors usually recommend for anyone who might have suffered a concussion. The doctor treating your child will recommend how long physical activities should be restricted and will continue to monitor the child’s recovery.

Recovery from a concussion could take up to two weeks, but it could take longer with some children. It is important for parents to follow the instructions of the child’s doctor. Children who might have suffered a concussion in the past could take longer to recover from a subsequent head injury.

Preventing Concussions

Children should wear protective helmets and headgear when riding bicycles and engaging in sports, such as:

  • Snowboarding
  • Skiing
  • Kayaking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Riding sleds and toboggans
  • Playing hockey

Children riding in motor vehicles should use car seats or booster seats appropriate for the age of the child. Parents should ensure the seats are properly installed in the vehicle.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling compensation claims on behalf of children and adults suffering head injuries and concussions in accidents caused by the negligence of others. Call their 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit their website to speak to someone now. They offer free consultations and case evaluations to injured victims throughout Ontario.

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