Parents, you know the drill before each football game. Your players have practiced hard and they know the plays. Make sure you’re ready for game day too by knowing the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
A concussion is much more than just a bump to the head. It's a mild traumatic brain injury. Anthony Martin, MD, a Carolinas HealthCare System sports medicine expert, said some signs of concussion are more obvious than others. In fact, sometimes symptoms of a concussion may not be evident until after the sporting event. Adrenaline during the game can cause the athlete to overlook potential warning signs.
A player doesn't have to lose consciousness to experience a concussion.
"It's important to watch for symptoms immediately after a blow or jolt to the head, as well as after the game has ended," Dr. Martin said.
Look out for these symptoms of concussion:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Problems talking
- Emotional abnormalities such as crying or excessive irritability
- Double vision or blurred vision
- Sensitivity to noise or light
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Changes in sleep habits
If you suspect a child may have a concussion or head injury during an athletic event, inform your athletic trainer or team doctor so they can evaluate the player. If a player develops these symptoms and there is no athletic trainer or medical provider present, have him or her evaluated and treated by a concussion expert.
Carolinas HealthCare System licensed athletic trainers partner with the Carolinas Concussion Network and will also provide free impact testing to high schools. Learn more about our partnership with the Carolinas Concussion Network.
If you or your child experiences a sports-related injury, call 704-863-HURT to schedule an appointment with Dr. Martin or one of our other board-certified physicians. Our eight Sports Medicine & Injury Care centers are conveniently located throughout the community and feature 24-hour scheduling.