As parents of athletes, we’re always waiting for the next time we’re breaking out an ice pack or
bandage and reminding our kids to “take it easy.” But one of the most dreaded injuries are
those hard blows to the head. Getting hit with a ball, colliding into another player, or taking a
hard fall to the ground might result in an overwhelming “oooowh” from the crowd in the stands
and a wave of panic in us.
Some of us might worry if that hit resulted in a concussion. Since our brains aren’t fully
developed until age 25, young athletes are more susceptible to brain damage if they suffer their
fair share of head injuries and concussions. The amount of concussions in sports is also a rising
statistic, so it makes sense if that fear comes to mind! You’re not “crazy” or “overprotective,”
no matter what your kids may say.
About half of concussions go undetected and unreported. So, it’s okay that you insist your
athlete see a physician after a hit to the head, regardless of how minor the incident may have
But, how can we be sure if our athlete is in danger? And, when do we know if it’s really
imperative to call the doctor? If your athlete answers “yes” to experiencing some of these
symptoms, we recommend getting a medical professional’s opinion as soon as possible.
Headache, fuzzy or blurry vision, nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to noise and/or light,
feeling off-balance, fatigued, feelings of weakness or numbness, having one pupil larger
than the other, and/or abnormal sleep habits.
Unable to think clearly or quickly, unable to concentrate, memory loss, slurred speech,
confusion, and unable to recognize familiar faces, places, or events.
Feeling irritable, sad, erratic, nervous, anxious, restless, and/or agitated.
After reviewing these symptoms, you think your athlete might have a concussion…now what?!
Visiting your doctor is the best route to take. But in the meantime, there are a few
things your athlete can do to help heal. This includes a lot of rest and avoiding activities that
can be physically and/or mentally taxing. Unfortunately, this also means spending time off the
field until their mind and body have fully recovered.