March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and The Brain Injury Association of America is urging everyone to “get the facts” on concussions. “A concussion is a brain injury. Period”, states the organizations website. More from the BIAA website:
A concussion is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a lack of proper diagnosis and management of concussion may result in a serious long-term consequences, or risk of coma or death. Signs and symptoms may be noticeable immediately, or it may take days or weeks before they are present.
According to the CDC, an estimated 3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year. Of that number, U.S. emergency departments treat approximately 135,000 sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions, among children ages 5 to 18.
Included in the push for awareness this month, the BIAA is stressing the importance of recognizing a concussion in children who are active in sports. Again, from the BIAA website:
BIAA believes coaches of every school athletic team and every extracurricular athletic activity should be trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of brain injury, including concussions and second impact syndrome. BIAA also believes young athletes who appear to have sustained a concussion should have written authorization by a health care professional before returning to play.
If you are a football fan, you witnessed this past season the seriousness of concussions in sports with the NFL and the NCAA taking a stand against unnecessary hits to the head while in play. If your child is active in sports, please read the signs and symptoms of a concussion below. If these are present after your child has taken a hit, seek medical attention immediately.
Signs and Symptoms of Concussions:
- Nausea (feeling that you might vomit)
- Dizziness or balance problems
- Double or fuzzy vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Feeling sluggish or tired
- Feeling foggy or groggy
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble remembering