BTP – Parents of young athletes know that along with the many benefits of participating in sports, there comes a certain amount of injury risk. As more evidence surfaces about long-term health challenges related to concussions, it’s especially crucial that parents bring themselves up to speed on the proper procedures for caring for an athlete who experiences a concussion.
The most important thing parents need to know about concussions is that if an athlete exhibits any signs or experiences any symptoms of a concussion, he or she should be immediately removed from play. While this recommendation is nothing new, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is again emphasizing its importance with the release of its updated 2013 sports concussion evidence-based guidelines.
For parents unfamiliar with concussion signs and symptoms, they include:
• Headache and sensitivity to light or sound
• Changes to balance, coordination and reaction time
• Changes in memory, judgment, speech and sleep
• Loss of consciousness or a “blackout” (happens in less than 10 percent of cases)
To view the entire AAN concussion report and find more concussion resources, visit www.aan.com/concussion.