5) Your child can have a concussion even if they don’t lose consciousness.
In fact, only about 10 percent of people with concussion are knocked out. The most common symptom of a concussion is a headache. Other common signs and symptoms include dizziness, nausea, blurred or double vision, confusion, and difficulty remembering. If your child is very young or has difficulty communicating, watch for changes in their behaviour and eating, sleeping or playing habits. It’s important to learn these signs and symptoms so you know what to watch out for. To have this information on hand wherever you go, download the free Concussion Ed app (available for iOs and Android).
If your child does lose consciousness, this may be a sign of a more serious injury. Other “red flag” symptoms include neck pain, repeated vomiting, growing confusion, seizures, and weakness or tingling in their arms or legs. If any of these are present, get medical help immediately.
6) Kids with concussion need rest, but not too much rest.
The old way of dealing with concussion, when we knew less than we know today, was to send the person into a dark room for days and weeks. Not only is this approach ineffective, we now know it can actually be harmful to recovery. Instead, your child should get physical and mental rest for 24 to 48 hours, then gradually start adding low levels of activity back in. As your child is recovering from concussion, they should not do any activities that make their symptoms worse. This might mean limiting activities such as reading, working on the computer, playing video games, riding their bike or play wrestling with their siblings. It’s important your child stays hydrated, eats healthy, and gets the right amount of sleep to support their brain’s healing.