As a pediatric surgeon, Dr. Saad Saad gets many questions from parents concerning their children’s health. One area, in particular, is head injuries from participating in full contact sports. They wonder what the appropriate steps are to take if their child ends up with a head injury.
There is enough medical evidence to point out that football can lead to serious long-term health issues such as a loss of memory. Dr. Saad Saad advises parents that it is possible for children to receive a concussion as a result of these activities.
Dr. Saad Saad tells parents that a concussion is a brain injury that can be caused by being hit in the head. This can also be caused if a person is hit and the brain moves quickly back and forth.
This rapid movement of the brain is very harmful to brain cells. In the majority of cases, a concussion will not result in death. However, Dr. Saad Saad feels that one should always take a concussion seriously because of the long-term effects that they can cause.
If a child is hit in the head, there are several signs that a parent should pay attention to that could indicate a concussion. Symptoms may include a worsening headache, throwing up, unconsciousness, one pupil larger than the other, unable to remain awake, exhaustion, seizures or strange behavior. Read more: When a Child Swallows a Foreign Object – Advice by Dr. Saad Saad and Life Lessons from Dr. Saad Saad, Pediatric Surgeon
Many of these symptoms could show up immediately, however, in other cases, it may take a few days before they manifest. A parent should not hesitate to take their child to an emergency room immediately if the symptoms persist.
If a child does have a concussion, the most important thing they should do is to rest for several weeks and avoid too much physical activity. It may be wise for them to take a day or two off school. It should not take more than a few weeks and the child should be feeling better at this point.
Dr. Saad says that it is still possible for symptoms of concussion to last over a month or when your child gets back into their normal routine. If a child has returned to doing a physical activity, then it is safe for them to continue it.
Concussions can vary in severity, so it is best to plan a child’s recovery based on the severity of the symptoms. A child may also develop post-concussive syndrome if they have had more than one concussion in their life.
It may take a while for the child to completely return to all their normal activities such as school or sports. This may cause the child to be upset, however, it is important to ensure that their doctor gives them the go-ahead, especially when returning to sports.