Concussions have been a hot topic in the news this week following the Steve Smith cricketing incident and a recently released study by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. So Kidsafe WA joins Bec in the studio to help bring us up to speed on concussion safety.
A concussion is a form of mild traumatic brain injury affecting the brain’s ability to acquire and process information. In sport, it is commonly caused by collisions and falls that result in an impulsive force being transmitted to the brain. A concussion can occur even without a hit to the head.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:
- Dazed appearance
- Unsteady feet/Dizziness
- Altered consciousness
- Confusion and/or memory loss
- Clutching head
- Slow movements
- Sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises
Children under 13 years often report varied signs and symptoms due to physiological differences in their brains. Knowledge of receiving a concussion is often low in all athletes. This is due to an inability to recognise the signs and symptoms of concussion or symptoms not presenting themselves until several hours after the event.
A concussion can occur in any sport and without a loss of consciousness.
To assist in the recovery of concussions, it is recommended that children REST and AVOID the following:
- Physical activity Computer
- Television Video games Reading
- Loud noises
- Bright lights
- Anything that exacerbates symptoms
Children may take longer to recover from concussions in comparison to adults, however, if symptoms remain for more than 10 days, a health professional with experience in concussion should be sought.
Return to play
- Premature return to play following a concussion can lead to an increased risk of re-injury and higher severity of symptoms
- Children should not return to play on the same day as the injury
- Children should not return to training or competitive sport until they have returned to school without symptoms worsening
- All children who suffer a concussion should have medical clearance before returning to physical activity
- Children should return to play gradually with a program developed by a health professional and in conjunction with coaches, parents and the athlete
Download the full Kidsafe Concussion Fact Sheet Here. This fact sheet includes more information on sustaining concussions, prevention and seeing a GP.