Whether you’re outfitting your child to play sports or heading out to ski or snowboard, it’s important to know what to do if someone around you suffers a brain injury. We asked Dr. Elie Elovic with Renown Rehabilitation Hospital to explain more.
Concussions are often associated with football, but many other activities can lead to head trauma — dangerous injuries that can affect brain function. Elie Elovic, MD, Renown Rehabilitation Hospital explains what to do if you suspect a head injury.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that comes from a direct or indirect impact to the head or body. During this impact, the brain is shaken or jarred, which may cause some bruising of the brain. This can occur without a loss of consciousness. Children are more susceptible to brain injury and its long-term affects because their brains are still developing.
What are some signs of a concussion?
Any blow to your head, neck or upper body can result in a concussion. Some signs to watch for include:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty with thinking, attention or memory
- Sensitivity to noise or light
- Ringing in the ears
- Changes in hearing
- Double vision
- Changes in behavior
- Balance issues
What should you do if you suspect a head injury?
If you suspect you or someone else has suffered a concussion, see a medical provider. Initial treatment varies depending on the severity of the injury. Rest, avoiding vigorous activity and a reduced school or workload can help with recovery. Sometimes further imaging or follow-up will be required. Be sure to avoid returning to sports and fitness activities until receiving clearance from a provider.
How can you protect your head?
Being aware of all safety tips, procedures and rules for the sport or activity at hand is an important way to prevent concussions. Parents and coaches can help by providing education on this topic. Safety equipment, particularly properly fitted helmets, should be maintained and worn. Because concussions can still occur even with the use of a helmet, reviewing the above signs and symptoms will help all participants keep each other safe.
To learn more about Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, visit renown.org/rehab.