It can be a scary experience when your child injures his or her brain. When your child scrapes a knee, you can see the injury. When a bone breaks, a physician can often take an x-ray to see the fracture. A concussion, however, is a bit harder to distinguish. As neuroscience comes to understand more about the brain, it becomes very clear that what we used to think of as a "ding" to the head – a concussion – is actually a mild traumatic brain injury. People with concussions often complain of headache, a foggy feeling, forgetfulness or any other number of vague symptoms.
A concussion is a brain injury that needs to be taken seriously. One of Save the Brain's goals is to provide accurate and helpful training, tools and resources to aid in managing your child's recovery. Please remember, your child's main job is to attend school and learn in order to achieve his or her highest potential. While not every concussed child plays sports, every child is a student. It is extremely important to ensure that your child has the initial focus to return to school before returning to sports.
As a parent, your first step to helping your child is to recognize and understand concussion symptoms and recovery.
Save the Brain has created a Sideline Concussion Recognition Card – a wallet-size tool that provides guidance in the event of an injury, especially in sports. With this tool, you have a valuable concussion resource that you can carry with you wherever you go. Whether you're watching from the sidelines or on a family ski trip, this card is the perfect addition to your wallet or purse.
Your next step is to find appropriate care for your child's concussion in the event of an injury. If your child's immediate health is in danger, please call 911 and find emergency medical assistance. If your child's immediate health is not in danger, be sure to locate a Save the Brain trained health care provider to evaluate your child.
Be sure to follow through with the instructions given to you and your child by the health care provider. You are now your child's concussion monitor – someone who is ensuring that your child doesn't make their recovery worse by placing themselves in dangerous situations or environments that do not allow the brain the necessary time required to heal. Does your child need to refrain from sports? Does your child need special accommodations at school?
Your child's health care provider will provide guidance to determine the right recovery path for your child. From this point forward, you will be working as a team with your provider and your child.