In the era we are in with sports injuries and "so much focus on head injuries and concussions, it's very important for parents to realize that what used to be called, 'just a little ding to the head,' is no longer considered that," says Mark Flanzenbaum, M.D., FAAP at KidMed. "So any injury to the head, in a sporting event or just outside playing with friends, is important."
Say you have a child who hit their head, there's no coach around and you are with them as a parent. "If they lost consciousness, if they are vomiting, if they are stumbling when they walk, they can't see straight, they're acting strange -- of course that is something that is significant and we need to take a look at that child," says Dr. Flanzenbaum.
"On the flip end of it, if your child hit their head, fell to the ground, they get up and they are acting okay, but there is something not quite right," says Dr. Flanzenbaum. "They are saying, 'I'm a little bit dizzy' ... that is also signs of head injury and concussion and it's sometimes is a lot more involved than just picking them up and saying, 'Come on inside, take a rest.'"
A lot of high school and middle school coaches are very in-tune with with picking up on these injuries, says Dr. Flanzenbaum. "We've gone 180 degrees from where we used to be, as far as being careful with those injuries, because it's still a long way to go."
If your child has any head injury and you are not certain about what you should do, "don't take matters into your own hand. Make sure somebody takes a look at them," says Dr. Flanzenbaum.
"We are certainly all experts here at KidMed at caring for children with head injuries, being able to discern those that have a significant head injury that may need further evaluation, such as a cat scan of the head, or the majority of children, who don't have that but, have a concussion or concussion-like symptoms," says Dr. Flanzenbaum.
He says they can guide you as to what the recommendations are for returning to play, returning to sports, and what you can do at home to make your child comfortable.
"If you are concerned about the injury your child had to their head, certainly I recommend that you get your child evaluated. That is not something that needs to immediately be seen in the emergency department, immediately have a cat scan testing done," says Dr. Flanzenbaum. "It's something an expert such as the doctors and nurse practitioners we have at KidMed can evaluate your child and can decide at that point if something more needs to be done. But, do not hesitate to get your child evaluated and we are certainly here to help you."
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