House Call: Concussions in Children
Recently, we have heard a lot about the national initiatives beginning to prevent concussions, head injuries and the long term damages they can cause. This is because more and more evidence-based support is arising of the serious, long term damage repeated head injuries can inflict.
Many athletes suffer multiple head injuries in just one game or sporting event. First and foremost, it is important to understand what a concussion is and the signs and symptoms of the condition. A concussion is a type of brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head.
Symptoms of concussion that parents should be aware of include: child appears dazed or stunned, confused about events, answers questions slowly, repeats questions, difficulty recalling events prior to or after the hit, bump, or fall, loses consciousness (even brieﬂy), exhibits behavior or personality changes and/or forgets class schedule or assignments.
Guidelines are changing on how medical professionals treat concussions in children. Doctors now view a concussion as a very serious condition, in which treatment must be individualized. If a parent suspects their child has suffered a concussion or any type of head injury, they need to seek medical attention immediately for proper evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of the condition.
Dr. William Hickling is a pediatric neurologist at Cone Health Child Neurology. Dr. Hickling is a 1978 graduate of Cornell University Medical College. He completed his pediatric residency at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and his neurology residency at North Carolina Memorial Hospital. He has practiced in this community since 1985.