Just in time for the fall sports season, the American Academy of Neurology has updated its Sports Concussion Guidelines. “There are many factors that can contribute to symptoms, and every injury—and person—is different,” says co-author Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D. “So we’re taking a more individualized approach to injury with these new guidelines.”
That means treating athletes on a case-by-case basis and doing away with the old guidelines’ concussion grading system, which ranked concussions on a scale of 1 to 3 (for example, a grade 1 concussion meant no loss of consciousness and symptoms of confusion cleared within 15 minutes). Now, if injury is suspected, it’s recommended that players be immediately removed from participation and not go back in until a physician has evaluated them.
And while only 5 percent of people who suffer from concussions actually lose consciousness, there are still some signs to look for to know if your child’s bump to the head is just that, or needs further evaluation. These include: dizziness, changes to balance or coordination, disorientation, and slurred speech.
Has your child had a sports-related concussion before? How did you handle the situation? Let us know in the comments section below, or tweet us @KIWImagazine.