Any parent knows how upsetting and worrying a bump on the head or more serious head injury can be. Even after a child has been checked by a doctor, you have to watch closely for 72 hours for the signs of concussion. This is why at Kids on Track, we read with great excitement a couple of weeks ago that a blood test which is 94% effective at detecting concussion in children should be available within the next 5 years.
For anyone who doesn't want to wait that long - here are some clues to being smart about head injuries.
1.A concussion is a mild brain injury which alters someone's ability to function normally following a bump / knock to the head.
2. The brain is encased within the skull and so any knock to the head can cause the brain to move. When this knock results in a visual sign on the head such as swelling or a bruise, there is often a need to watch for a concussion.
3. 700 children each day are taken to emergency worldwide following a concussion playing sports
4. Whilst symptoms of a concussion are often not immediate and develop 24 - 72 hours after injury, it is important to take your child to see a doctor to rule out anything more serious.
5. Symptoms of concussion include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision and confusion. In babies there can be irritability or excessive crying.
6. Doctors will try to determine whether or not your child is suffering from a concussion by doing a full neurological exam.
7. Most people with a concussion recover very quickly and are back to regular activities within a couple of days or a week.