If an athlete is suspected of having a concussion, he/she should be immediately removed from all play, whether it be a game or practice. Continuing to participate in physical activity after a concussion can lead to worsening symptoms, increased risk for further injury, and even death.
Possible signs/symptoms resulting from a concussion:
- Visual problems
- Balance problems
- Difficulty remembering
- Sleeping more than usual
- Feeling slowed down
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
- Sleeping less than usual
- Difficulty with/slurred speech
- Loss of consciousness
- Feeling mentally foggy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Unequal/dilated pupils
- Feeling more emotional
- Trouble falling asleep
What to do next:
- Your child should refrain from physical activity, including gym, recess, exertion activities, contact activities and contact sports until appropriately evaluated and cleared to resume.
- Avoid taking NSAIDs including aspirin, Advil, and Aleve. Consult a specialist prior to taking any pain reliever. Rest tends to be most helpful for relieving headaches.
- Avoid anything that worsens symptoms including TV, reading, texting, loud noise, bright lights, etc.
- Avoid ‘pushing through’ symptoms; limit cognitive or ‘thinking’ activities and take breaks as needed to help manage symptom load.
- Stay adequately hydrated.
- Inform your primary care physician of the injury and schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional knowledgeable in concussion management.
Refer to an emergency room immediately with onset of any of the following signs/symptoms: weakness or numbness in arms/legs, decreased coordination, neck pain, repeated vomiting/nausea, pupil differences, ringing in ears, vision problems, slurring speech, seizures or convulsions, change in state of consciousness, increased confusion, unusual behavior, severe and/or worsening headache.
If you feel you/your child has suffered a concussion, the IBJI Sports Neurology Team is available for post-injury evaluation and management. To learn more, call our office at 847-682-8463.