This is (still) the best brain injury advice I’ve ever heard

*This post was originally published 7-30-14,  updated 2-19-17.

Every parent knows that they can’t prevent every bump to their child’s head.

And we know a bump to the head and a “brain injury” are not necessarily the same thing.

A superficial wound or bump to the head can be no fun for a child, but a brain injury is much more serious.

Concussion_Study_Brain_Injury_Photo_Coluccio_Law_Seattle

 

That’s why kids wear bike and ski helmets now.

That’s why there are rules for children playing sports.

That’s why playgrounds aren’t built on concrete anymore.

 

I read op-ed by a neurosurgeon who specializes in concussion therapy and spine surgery, and one simple point really stood out.*

A concussion is NOT a head injury: it is a brain injury.

We are fairly casual about concussions, compared to more obviously severe brain injuries.

After all, most are resolved within a couple of weeks, without obvious consequences.

But a concussion changes how the brain works. Younger people, teens especially, can have lasting cognitive effects like short-term memory loss or an inability to focus.

And every concussion makes a kid more vulnerable to another concussion.

So treat the concussion like a brain injury, not like a mere bump to the head.

Brain injury or not?

Know the signs and symptoms of a concussion. This Concussion Awareness Training Tool is one of the best resources I’ve seen.Coluccio_Law_Brain_Injury_Training_tool.jpeg

Really, it boils down to this: You know your kid.

If you think something is “off”, take your child to the pediatrician or a qualified medical provider.

 

 “Following a head injury, if the little voice inside you is telling you to go to the emergency room, listen to that voice.”

Joshua Rotenberg MD, Pediatric Neurology


 

Photo: Concussion Study University of Fraser Valley

*Original op-ed link is no longer available; see the cited study here

Leave A Comment