Has your teen suffered this shockingly common injury? According to the Journal of American Medical Association, one in five students in grades eight, nine and 10 have suffered concussion before. And no – we don’t just mean football players.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The causes include bumps, jolts and blows to the head. You can also suffer a concussion from forces that cause your brain to bounce around or twist inside your skull. When these injuries occur, your brain releases inflammatory particles that cause damage. It doesn’t just have to be one hit, either. A series of smaller hits can lead to a concussion. Over time, multiple concussions can lead to neurodegenerative conditions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Some refer to concussions as “mild” traumatic brain injuries, but this language is deceiving. Concussions are serious. Even if you do not show immediate symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, headache, blurry vision or fatigue, the long-term effects of concussion can be detrimental.
Most Common Causes of Concussion in Students
Football remains one of the most prominent causes of student TBI. Girls have high rates of TBI as well, often from soccer, and their symptoms tend to last longer. TBI can happen outside of sports, too. Car accidents, hitting your head in a swimming pool, falling from a playground, running into a door – all possible causes.
If your child suffers a blow to the head, even if you do not suspect a concussion, you should have your child evaluated by a medical professional. Not every traumatic brain injury will be apparent right away. Limit the child’s physical activity and give him or her more time to get necessary work done. Some children will bounce back quickly, while others might take longer.