Concussion is a traumatic brain injury. More severe injuries include skull fractures and bleeding on the brain. Concussion may be more mild but should not be underestimated. It is an injury sustained by a blow to the head, in Sport or play, usually from the blow with another persons head or the ground. The forces are transmitted to the brain, in a way stunning the nerves and thus affecting the ability of the brain to work.
Concussion in children generally must be treated differently to that in an adult. Children’s brain are growing and developing. They have a need to continue to learn and aquire knowledge. As such the priority is to see them back to full school capacity before returning to sport. Because concussion can affect your child’s ability to learn and interact in the classroom, medical clearance should be sought to ensure your child has no ongoing concussion effects and can return to school.
The afl guidelines state:
Any player who has suffered a concussion or is suspected of having a concussion must be medically assessed as soon as possible after the injury and must NOT be allowed to return to play in the same game/practice session.
Some of the symptoms include
• Difficulty staying awake
• Headaches or migraines
• Forgetfulness or memory problems
• General unwell feeling, or feeling a bit 'off'
• Confusion, slurred speech or unusual behaviour
• Blurred or double vision
Symptoms should resolve in 10-14 days, but children can take a lot longer than adults to recover.
A blow to the head usually will also involve a whiplash type effect to the neck. This is why physios so often are involved with treating people with concussion, because they also have a sore neck. The neck can also give symptoms of headaches, visual disturbance and lightheaded ness. To assess these other symptoms requires advancecd knowledge and training which several of our Physiologix physio's have undertaken. At Physiologix, several of our staff have a special interest in this area, having completed specific further training in this area. In the case of the concussion, There is a very specific form that has been done for children ( we are now on the 5th version) - our physios can also go through this with your child. They will then also assess the neck and spine for any involvement.
The AFL website also has some good links and information about concussion if you want to know more.
Should you have any concerns, consult with a medical practitioner immediately.