In recognition of April as Youth Sports Safety Month, Austin’s Medicine in Motion has these tips for concussion awareness among young athletes, especially those participating in sports with a high rate of concussion, such as football or soccer.
- Compared to an adult suffering a similar injury, youth are more likely to sustain a concussion and are more likely to have the concussion last longer.
- Multiple concussions can lead to permanent learning difficulties, so keep track of how many head injuries are occurring and seek advice from a health care professional if a young person has had three or more head injuries.
- When treated properly, concussions usually resolve completely and do not cause future difficulties, so seek treatment for a concussion if one occurs.
- The best way to manage concussions is to conduct a baseline test prior to the sports season starting. Then if there is a head injury, repeat the test for comparison. By having a comparison between the athlete’s brain functioning before and after the concussion, the clinician is able to make a better evaluation.
“The diagnosis of an acute concussion usually involves the assessment of clinical symptoms, physical signs, behavior, balance, sleep and cognition,” says Dr. Martha Pyron, Austin-area sports medicine doctor and owner of Medicine in Motion. “We use physical and computerized testing to check for more serious injury, detect when an athlete is suffering from a concussion, and determine when the concussion has resolved, so we can give them the thumbs up to safely return to play.”