Dealing with Concussions in Youth Sports

Knowing how to deal with concussions in youth sports is essential for ensuring young athletes stay safe while having fun on the field. This article will offer valuable insights into prevention, recognition of concussive symptoms, and treatment of sports-related concussions. From understanding the signs to implementing preventive strategies, read more to explore the vital steps to safeguard the health and future of our young sports enthusiasts.

Youth Sports that Might Cause Concussion

Concussions can occur in youth sports with higher risks of collisions, falls, and physical contact. American football, soccer, ice hockey, rugby, basketball, lacrosse, wrestling, cheerleading, boxing, martial arts, cycling, skateboarding, gymnastics, field hockey, and baseball/softball are among the sports where brain injury, head injury or loss of consciousness are more prevalent due to the nature of the activities.

Efforts in preventing concussions have been made through upgrades in equipment, and safety measures have been taken around the rules of contact, but it’s essential for coaches, athletes, and parents to prioritize proper training, safety gear usage, and adherence to rules to reduce the likelihood of concussions when children are returning to play on the field. 

Swift recognition, appropriate medical attention, and sufficient recovery time are critical if a concussion is suspected.

child with potential signs of a concussion

Symptoms of Concussions 

Concussion symptoms in children can vary and may not always be immediately obvious. It’s important to note that symptoms can appear right after the injury or even hours to days later. Some potential concussion symptoms in children include:

Physical Symptoms

  • Headache or pressure in the head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Fatigue or sleepiness
  • Blurred or double vision

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Feeling foggy, groggy, or confused
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Slowed thinking or response times

Emotional and Mood Changes

  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Sadness or emotional sensitivity
  • More emotional than usual

Sleep Disturbances

  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Changes in sleep patterns

Physical Changes

  • Clumsiness or coordination problems
  • Difficulty with speech or communication
  • Seizures (rare but possible)

youth in sports such as hockey are at risk of concussion

How to Check for a Concussion 

Checking for a concussion involves a combination of observing an individual’s behavior and asking specific questions to assess their cognitive and physical state. If you suspect someone has a concussion or impaired brain function as a result of a traumatic head injury, follow these steps:

Initial Assessment

If there was a significant impact on the head or body and the child is showing signs of distress, ensure their safety by removing them from the activity that may have caused the injury.

If the child is unconscious, has difficulty waking up, or is experiencing severe symptoms like seizures or worsening confusion, call for emergency medical help immediately.

Observe and Ask Questions

Observe the child’s behavior and appearance for signs of confusion, dizziness, unsteadiness, or any changes in responsiveness.

Ask the child about how they feel, any symptoms they might be experiencing, and what happened before and after the injury.

How to Treat Concussions in Children

Each concussion is unique, requiring a tailored approach to suit the child’s needs and symptom severity. Parents and caregivers play a pivotal role in ensuring a safe and complete recovery for children with concussions by adhering to medical guidance, maintaining rest, and gradually reintroducing activities.

For more explicit guidance on how to treat a child’s concussion, seek an immediate diagnosis from a trusted physician or emergency department

How to Prevent Concussions in Youth Sports

Every child should be able to play sports and have fun! To prevent youth sports concussions, follow these easy guidelines: 

  • Emphasize proper technique, protective gear, and fair play.
  • Educate athletes, coaches, and parents about concussions.
  • Have medical professionals on the sidelines and conduct preseason testing.
  • Monitor athletes for fatigue and age-appropriate activities.
  • Maintain safe equipment and surfaces.
  • Encourage reporting.

By implementing these measures, youth can enjoy sports with reduced concussion risks and enhanced safety!

smiling soccer players in an embrace

Altus Emergency Centers Offers Pediatric Emergency Care 

By recognizing the danger of concussions in youth sports, we empower ourselves to take informed and proactive steps to protect children at play. Remember, the key lies not only in prevention and education but also in decisive action when needed.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we stand as partners in this endeavor, offering expert care and guidance in times of uncertainty. When it comes to concussions or any potential injuries your child may face, seeking timely medical assistance is crucial. Together, let’s champion the cause of safer youth sports and ensure that our future sports stars thrive on and off the field. Visit our website to learn more about our services or to find a location near you.