Monday, April 09, 2007

Does your kid have a concussion?

…It’s getting warm and everyone is going outside and playing sports. The National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) has some tipsfor dealing with whacks to the head.

…Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC, is a professor and director of the Sports Medicine Research Lab at the Univ of NC, Chapel Hill.

…Apparently they are unearthing new info on concussion all the time.

…The idea is to formulate set rules for dealing with head injuries on the field.

…First, if an athlete reports a contact to the head and some symptoms, this is at very least, a mild concussion. Funny terms like “ding” and bell ringer” can mask the seriousness.

…The athlete should be looked at and checked for cognitive and stability issues.

…Once symptom free, the athlete should be reassessed to see if the values are normal for that player.

…If an athlete loses conscious or has amnesia lasting more than 15 mins, he or she should see a doctor THAT DAY.

…A team should do this evaluation—trainer, doctor, the athlete.

…Athletes who are out of it for at least 20 minutes, should not be allowed to play that day.

…Younger athletes have brains that are still maturing—they should be managed even more conservatively. Younger athletes (under 18) should never return to play the same day as a head injury.

…Athletes should rest, but not complete bed rest.

…Three concussions—maybe it’s best to terminate contact sports.

…For more info, go to

…Your kid’s head is precious—protect it. He or she might need it later.

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