Concussions in Youth Sports

In the world of sports, a mild traumatic brain injury is also known as a concussion. Despite the word “mild” and the frequency with which we hear the term, concussions should be taken seriously.

If your child competes sports, take some time to speak with your coaching staff about concussions. This is especially important with contact sports. To stay informed on how the coaches manage a suspected concussion, ask the following three questions.

1. What is your procedure if you suspect someone has suffered a concussion, either in practice or a game setting?

It is important to know how this is managed in practice, as well as a game setting. Game settings tend to be more formal as compared to practice, but the risk can be the same in both settings.

2. Do you have a concussion management protocol?

This would be something that spells out clearly how they manage someone they suspect has suffered a concussion. It should cover from the suspected injury through a return to competition.

3. Do you have staff on site during practice and games that are trained in assessing for concussions?

Make sure you know the signs and symptoms of a concussion, as well. They include:

  • Slowed thinking, or feeling that you’re in a fog
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble remember new information
  • Constant headache
  • Changes in balance
  • Lack of energy
  • Mood changes
  • Increased anxiety
  • Change in sleep patterns, sleeping more or less than usual

The ultimate goal is to be confident that if your loved one suffers a concussion, they can be properly treated and safely return to competition. If you suspect your child has suffered a concussion, follow up with your physician, or another care provider trained in managing concussions.

— 

Kevin Nicholson, PT is the Director of Therapy Services at Vibra Rehabilitation Hospital of Amarillo. He is passionate about stepping out of the normal “therapy box” to help patients improve and return home. He has also worked as a PT assistant prior to becoming a PT, and has a combined 31 years of experience in the field of physical therapy. In his off time he enjoys watching professional basketball and mixed martial arts, and he enjoys barbell training.