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Doctors Remind Parents To Take Kids Head Injuries Seriously

Doctors today are not so concerned about the regular scrapes and cuts that befall kids during play or school sports as they are about head injuries. A bump on the head may seem like no big deal to a child anxious to get back on a field or ice rink, but parents and sports coaches are advised to err on the side of caution.

Head injuries, unlike lacerations and even broken bones, can cause serious and sometimes permanent damage for children. Medical experts say repeated concussions are dangerous, especially if children and young athletes return to hard play before the head injury has healed fully.

Medical professionals say many parents mistakenly associate concussions with blackouts. But parents need to be aware that other symptoms like vision problems, headaches, nausea and disorientation are possible signs that a concussion has taken place.

Because it can be hard to recognize symptoms of a concussion, seeking medical help quickly is important, especially when the head injury has caused brain bleeding or a skull fracture. Children who return to activities too soon after a head injury are extremely vulnerable if another concussion occurs. The results can be debilitating or deadly for boys and girls.

Parents are advised to be proactive about the seriousness of concussions with coaches and other people who supervise their children during hard play. Questioning a child’s sports coach about game safety and injuries is not out of line.

Helmets are capable of protection only when they are buckled properly and seated on top of the head correctly. Studies have shown that helmets decrease the chance of brain injuries by as much as 85 percent.

Laws governing helmet use often don’t apply to parents who bike or engage in other wheeled sports with kids, although experts say wearing them can set a good example. Adult head injuries may not have the same devastating effects as they do on children, but helmets can prevent adults from sustaining serious injuries during falls or car accidents.

Source: WPRI.com, “Important facts about child head trauma,” Courtney Calgiun, July 16, 2012