Summer sports season is in full swing for many young athletes. With sports, also comes injuries – scrapes, cuts, bumps and bruises are common. Sometimes after a fall or bump, injuries are not visible to parents and coaches. One such injury is a concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that changes the way the brain works. It can be caused by a bump or blow to head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Symptoms can be immediate or may even take days or weeks to appear.
A child’s concussion symptoms observed by parents include:
· Appears dazed or stunned
· Confused about assignment or position
· Forgets an instruction
· Moves clumsily
· Answers questions slowly
· Loses consciousness (even briefly)
· Shows personality or behavioral changes
Children may describe their symptoms the following way:
· Headaches or the feeling of pressure in the head
· Nausea or vomiting
· Balance problems or dizziness
· Double or blurry vision
· Sensitivity to light
· Sensitivity to noise
· Feeling sluggish, foggy or just “not right”
At Rush-Copley, we offer baseline concussion testing for athletes 10 and older. In the off season (prior to any contact activity), an athlete takes a 30 minute baseline computer test which tracks neurocognitive function such as verbal and visual memory, attention span, brain processing speed, and reaction time. Later, if a concussion is suspected during the playing season, a follow-up test is administered to compare the results between the new test and the baseline. This comparison along with a detailed evaluation helps to diagnose and manage the concussion. Follow-up tests can be administered over days or weeks so the doctor can continue to track the athlete’s recovery from the injury. This screening can help answer difficult questions about an athlete’s readiness to return to play, protecting them from the potentially serious consequences of returning too soon.
Concussion testing can be scheduled alone or as an addition to a sports physical for $25. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, visit rushcopley.com or call 630-236-4270.
Have a fun and safe summer sports season!