Learning To Recognize The Signs Of A Childhood Concussion

It is a well-known fact that children can be rambunctious at times. In order to give children a healthy outlet for their energy, many parents enroll young ones in organized sports. While participation in sports can be a great way for children to get exercise and social interaction, playing a sport could also result in a child sustaining a concussion.

Here are three things you should be watching for each time your child plays a sport to determine whether or not a concussion has been sustained.

1. Increased Irritability

If you notice that your child takes a big hit or a nasty fall while participating in sporting activities, you should keep a close eye on his or her irritability level over the next few days.

A concussion is a form of mild traumatic brain injury that can affect how your child processes emotions. If your child exhibits sudden mood swings, or suddenly bursts into laughter or tears for no apparent reason, you may want to contact your family physician for an examination.

Irritability is one of the signs that a concussion has been sustained, so be on the lookout for a child that is crankier than usual.

2. Vomiting

After your child's sporting event, be sure that you are watching for signs of vomiting or nausea in your child. A concussion, which is caused by a heavy blow to the head, can disrupt the function of the area postrema.

The area postrema is responsible for regulating the body's vomiting mechanism, so disruptions in this area could cause your child to experience bouts of vomiting when there appears to be no physiological reason. If you do notice that your child is nauseous or vomiting after his or her sporting event, make an appointment with your family doctor to check for a concussion.

3.  Tiring Easily

If you see signs of your child tiring more easily than usual in the days following participation in a sporting event, this could be a sign of concussion. A concussion compromises a child's ability to rest and recover properly, which means that he or she will experience fatigue at a much faster rate.

Watching for subtle signs that your child can't play for long periods of time without resting, or noticing that your child doesn't have the ability to make it through regular activity without wanting to fall asleep can be beneficial when determining if medical attention is needed for a concussion.

Learning to identify the symptoms of a potential concussion will allow you to seek the medical attention your child needs to prevent lasting damage after a sports-related concussion has been sustained.