Teaching Our Kids About Concussions

Teaching Our Kids About Paediatric Concussions

Last month, Sheddon Physiotherapy with Complete Concussion Management delivered a presentation to our U14 girls soccer teams at the Oakville Soccer Club.

It’s important that parents understand what a concussion is,  but it’s most important that even our youngest athletes are well aware of the potential repercussions of the injury. Paediatric concussions, juvenile concussions, and concussions in children and adolescents all refer to the same type of injury, however no two concussions are alike. Because of this, there are currently no existing template to concussion management.Therefore, every concussion is treated on an individual basis.  Concussions are a growing concern as children become more involved in sports and encouraged to live a more active lifestyle. Here are a few things to be aware of:

1. The Immature Brain

A brain that is still in development is susceptible to injury and responds differently to trauma compared to the adult central nervous system. Do not treat kids as if they are “little adults”. Concussions bring unique problems in interpreting the real impact of various signs, symptoms and preceding symptoms. Thus, always look with a conservative eye and seek professional help. When should you seek help?

2. Mechanism + Symptoms= Concussion

Even the Journal of Paediatric Rehabilitation states that, historically, most of the scientific literature concerning concussions are fielding from adult studies and that more studies are required to adequately look at neuropsychological assessments of sport-related concussions and return to play decisions in children and adolescents. Thus, if there is a mechanism (whether directly to the head or indirectly) and there are symptoms, IT IS a concussion, unless otherwise said so by a trained medical professional. Symptoms may not appear until several hours later! Remember, symptoms do not just include headaches. Take a look at our previous blogs to learn a little more about concussion symptoms (https://www.sheddonphysio.com/concussion-education/).

3. Seek Professional Help!

Seek professional help from specialized clinics that are knowledgeable. There are approaches available for assessing, managing, and treating paediatric concussions, and often times, depending on symptoms, require more than one professional including  (but not exclusive to): physiotherapist, chiropractor, sports medicine doctor, ophthalmologist, vestibular specialist, psychologist, athletic therapist, etc. Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries, so they are not something children should be “walking off”.

Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic is your first choice in complete concussion management. Got a question? Contact us at www.sheddonphysio.com.

Tate, Ramsey, and Kristi Ray. “Pediatric ED Concussion and Brain Injury Discharge Instructions.” (2013).