Recognition: A bump or hit to the head does not automatically constitute a concussion, so it is important to pay attention to your athlete’s behavior after he or she suffers a blow.
Warning signs that you or a coach may notice in the player include:
• Appears dazed, stunned, or confused
• Seems clumsy
• Answers questions slowly
• Experiences loss of consciousness
• Forgets what to do
• Seems unsure about what is happening around him or her
Signs that the athlete may notice include:
• Having a headache or pressure in the head
• Changes in vision or sensitivity to light or sound
• Nausea or vomiting
• Feeling lethargic, dazed, or confused
• Having problems concentrating
Call 911 if you notice any of the following signs in an individual who suffered a blow to the head:
• One pupil is larger than the other
• Is sleepy or cannot be awakened
• Has a headache or other symptom that gets worse
• Slurred speech
• Convulsions or seizure
• Cannot recognize people or places
• Repeated vomiting or nausea
• Loss of consciousness
Response: If you think your child may have a concussion, seek immediate medical help. A healthcare practitioner can examine your child to determine how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for him or her to resume activities such as sports. Athletes are often celebrated for or even encouraged to “tough it out” and keep playing; however, if your child has experienced a concussion, he or she should not return to play until the brain is fully healed, to avoid possible re-injury and potential brain damage or even death. Return to play should be gradual, and parents, coaches, and the athlete should all watch out for any return or worsening of symptoms.
St. Luke’s Hospital is an independent, nonprofit healthcare provider committed to improving the quality of life for its patients and the community. In its 150-year history, St. Luke’s has grown from a single hospital location to an advanced network of care. It provides personalized healthcare services in over 60 specialty areas at its 493-bed hospital in Chesterfield, Mo. and offers 25 other locations across the greater St. Louis area, bringing quality healthcare services close to home. St. Luke’s is nationally-recognized for quality care and consistently earns high patient satisfaction scores. In addition, St. Luke’s is the exclusive St. Louis affiliate of the nation’s No. 1 heart hospital, Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. For more information, visit stlukes-stl.com.
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