Young athletes who suffer concussions often are their own worst enemies. They may ignore their injury because they want to play, not sit on the sideline.
Young people tend to think they are invulnerable. They fail to see concussions as anything more than a knock on the head that they can shake off in a few minutes. They do not understand that concussions can have long-lasting, even lifelong, health consequences.
Identifying short-term symptoms of a concussion
For coaches and parents, it is important to keep a close eye on young athletes. They are unlikely to report what they believe are minor injuries, not wanting to appear weak in front of their teammates and friends. After any accident during a game or practice, it is important to observe any athletes involved for signs of head trauma.
Some concussion symptoms are obvious to the naked eye and demand medical attention. Loss of consciousness, seizures and blood or fluid coming from the nose or ears are among them. Other serious signs include trouble walking and slurred speech.
However, some symptoms are easy to miss, especially when young players are trying to downplay or hide them:
- Double vision
Identifying long-term symptoms of a concussion
Some symptoms may not occur for days, weeks or even months after a head injury. Many are unfortunately easy to mistake as behavior common to immature young people:
- Personality and mood changes
- Concentration problems
- Changes in work or school performance
Other symptoms present more of a mystery if a concussion was never diagnosed. Victims may suffer from sensitivity to light and noise, or sleeping problems.
Seeking treatment and other options for concussions
It is a tragedy when a young person suffers any injury. With concussions, the symptoms can be easy to miss or ignore, resulting in lack of treatment and long-term health issues. Immediate medical attention is vital for concussion victims to make a full recovery.