National Concussion Awareness Day just passed us on September 21st. This is a day that is dedicated to the encouragement of identifying symptoms related to concussions and head injury, as well as provide support to those who have suffered head trauma.
The Centers for Disease Control released new set of guidelines for youth concussion management. Historically, this plan included keeping children from participating in daily activities for a lengthy period of time after a concussion. However, now, the plan has changed to reflect a more proactive approach to treatment.
Having children return promptly to daily activities such as cell phone use, playing games, light exercise and activity encourages medical and psychological healing. It creates a sense of normalcy, which, according to Upstate Concussion Center Director Brian Rieger, PhD, is the best thing for them.
Returning promptly to daily activities does not necessarily mean that concussion symptoms should be ignored, however. And, in fact, the sooner symptoms are acknowledged and addressed, the better. If a child displays continued symptoms, Rieger says easing off and seeing a doctor again is the best recommendation.
Although, every concussion is different, whether a child or adult. Concussions often display different symptoms as well as different onset and recovery times.
Mother of five, Leeanne Cuyler, says although both of her sons who suffered from concussions exhibited similar symptoms – dizziness, headaches and blurred vision, they each had different timing for concussion onset. Also, both of her boys’ recovery times were dissimilar.
Cuyler says that her son, who was hit during a football game, knew he had a headache. But he didn’t know that it was a concussion. So he continued to play and didn’t say anything to anybody.
“They’re not necessarily as aware because I think in his case, he thought it was going to be something like portrayed on TV or in movies like you were going to be knocked out or you’re not going to know who you are or where you are,” Cuyler shared. “In fact, that happened to one of his teammates earlier in the game.”
On National Concussion Awareness Day, people who have suffered concussions are encouraged to share their stories on social media using #NationalConcussionAwarenessDay. Information about symptoms and other resources are on the awareness group’s website.