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Lawrence Dickinson, M.D.Lawrence Dickinson, M.D.NeurosurgeryAlta Bates Summit Medical Center
Lawrence Dickinson, M.D.NeurosurgeryAlta Bates Summit Medical Center

Sutter East Bay Neuroscience Institute, Eden and Alta Bates Summit medical centers

Question of the Week

I’m concerned about my child getting a concussion while taking part in organized athletics. What can I do?

Lawrence Dickinson, M.D. answered: Teens in organized sports, such as soccer, football and lacrosse, are particularly vulnerable to concussion. Approximately nine percent of all high school athletic injuries are concussions.

Before enrolling your child in a contact sport, make sure he or she has the skills to stay safe while playing the game. Also, make sure that you and your child’s coach understand concussions and can identify the signs..

A bump, blow or jolt to the head can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI)by disrupting normal brain functioning.

Concussion, the most common TBI in children and teens, can vary in severity, from feeling dazed to completely losing consciousness with no memory of the event.

Here are a few common symptoms:

• Headache
• Nausea or vomiting
• Dizziness and imbalance
• Loss of consciousness
• Fuzzy or blurry vision
• Feeling “dazed”
• Memory troubles
• Difficulty concentrating

Go to the Emergency Department immediately if your child has a loss of consciousness. If your child has not lost consciousness, but is experiencing any of the above symptoms, an evaluation by a health care professional is recommended. No one should return to athletic endeavors until all symptoms have been resolved.

Your child needs to recover completely from their injury before returning to activities. Treatment usually includes:

• Rest
• Good hydration and nutrition
• No activities that provoke headache, such as exercise or activities involving concentration
• Medications for headache and nausea

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