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How to recognise a concussion injury

Concussions in kids is something not to be missed! Children are more susceptible to concussion than adults ‘due to the fact their brains and bodies are still growing.’ Concussion doesn’t just occur with winter sports, they can also occur in other activities such as ‘cycling accidents and falling at the playground.’

HOW TO RECOGNISE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION.

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache
  • Pressure in the head
  • Neck pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Blurred vision
  • Balance problems
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Not feeling right/feeling off
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • More emotional
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Nervous or anxious
  • If there is a suspected concussion, here is what you need to do:

  • Remove any risk for further injuries. For instance, pull the player off the field, remove the child from the playground, or avoid having the injured person sitting in the middle of a busy pathway.
  • Close observation for “red flags” (below) in the first 24 to 48 hours after a concussion is very important. “Red flags” are signs of potentially more serious or life-threatening conditions. See below for a list. If there are signs of deterioration or if you are unsure, take them to the emergency department immediately.
  • Make an appointment immediately. If you are concussed, you need to have a full and thorough evaluation by a healthcare practitioner with training in concussion within 2 days of the injury. Early assessment, treatment and rehabilitation can help you get back to work, play, or doing the things that you love doing.
  • FACT: 90% of concussions do not result in a loss of consciousness and symptoms may only start to appear days after the injury occurred.

    The first 48 hours after cocussion, heres what to do:

  • Do not go to sleep for at least 3 hours after the concussion. If you are the one watching the injured person, continue to talk to them and monitor for signs of deterioration.
  • After 3 hours, the concussed person can take a nap or go to sleep. Check on the injured person every 2 hours throughout the first night. They don’t have to be woken up, but make sure they are still breathing and seem okay.
  • Do not take any pain medication before consulting a medical doctor. Medications can “mask” the signs of a worsening condition and some can also increase the possibility of a brain bleed.
  • RED FLAGS Visit the Emergency Department if you have any of the following or if you are unsure:

  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slurring of speech
  • Very unsteady on feet
  • Severe or worsening headache
  • Drowsiness or can’t be awakened
  • Weakness or numbness in arms or legs
  • Unusual behavior, very confused, very irritable
  • Decreasing level of consciousness > 2 hours after injury
  • Fluid leaking from ears, bruising behind ears, 2 black eyes
  • Inability to remember more than 30 minutes before the injury
  • The Physio Space as a clinic affiliated with the global Complete Concussion Management network, we have physiotherapists trained in assessing and treating concussions. If you would like to make an appointment or obtain more information, you can reach us at 02 4861 1223 or at [email protected]

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