Concussion 101 For Parents
Although helmets do not prevent concussion, you can help reduce the risk of traumatic head injuries by having your children wear helmets and protective gear that is appropriate for their sport.
Educate yourself and your child about concussion signs and symptoms.
Be vigilant. Unlike some other injuries, many concussions are easy to miss. Your child may not have a bump on their head or be bleeding.
Ask your child’s coach to take 20-minute online training in concussion awareness.
You might consider having your child take a cognitive baseline test. What is baseline testing?
If your child does suffer a blow to the head or you suspect a concussion, make sure they are removed from play immediately. Tell your child to tell an adult if they think they or somebody else they know may have suffered a concussion. Have the school provide you with a Head Injury Report and Head Injury Referral form.
Have your child evaluated by a licensed health care provider, trained in the evaluation and management of concussions, acting within the scope of his or her practice.
Remember that you are the expert on your child. You know them better than their coaches, teachers or doctor. Help your doctor and school understand your child's condition and ask if accommodations are available, if needed. Your child should not resume normal activity until they are symptom free and have been cleared by you and their doctor. Learn about recommended timing for Return to Learn and Return to Play.
Be an advocate for your child--after a concussion, they may have feelings of depression, confusion, and/or may suffer from headaches or just not feel like themselves. Explain to them that this is normal and resting their brain will help them heal. It may be advised for them to stay out of school, refrain from studying, reading, television, video games or anything that may stimulate their brain.
What to do if you suspect your child has suffered a concussion?