Fall sports are right around the corner. Some of our patients will be participating in football, volleyball, baseball, soccer, and hockey. All these activities are fun and exciting, but they can lead to concussions and other head injuries.
If your child participates in one of these sports, learn how to protect him or her and enjoy the season.
A helmet is perhaps the best way to protect your child. Make sure that helmet use is required in your child’s league or on his or her team. If not, you and other parents need to speak to coaches and officials immediately.
Your child’s helmet should be appropriate for the sport he or she plays. For example, a helmet designed for cycling isn’t appropriate for volleyball or football under any circumstances. It should fit comfortably and be appropriate for the position he or she plays. For example, a quarterback’s helmet may be slightly different from a running back’s. Ask the coach or an expert at your local sports store for guidance on the fit and style of helmet your child needs.
Know Your Child’s Sport
You don’t have to be familiar with every rule and play, but you should know the basics of your child’s sport. This can help you prepare your child for the specific contact he or she may encounter. It will also help your child stay aware of certain risks inherent in the sport.
Know Concussion Symptoms
Despite vigilant coaching, helmets, and other protection, concussions may still happen. You and your child need to know the symptoms of a concussion: clumsy movements, slurred speech, confusion, and lack of recall about events before or after the hit or fall. Your child may also experience worsening headaches, nausea and vomiting, weakness, or drowsiness. Not all kids with concussions lose consciousness. If they do, it may be a brief blackout. Therefore, don’t rely on unconsciousness to tell you if your child has sustained a concussion.
If your child shows symptoms, please call our office for guidance.