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KUTV.com | Stories - Concussions and Child Athletes
Wednesday, September 4 2013, 03:13 PM MDT
Concussions and Child Athletes
By Carla Roberts

(KUTV) There has been a lot of talk about concussions in the news lately. You have likely heard about the long term problems retired N-F-L players are experiencing as a result of concussions. Here in Utah, however, there is a growing concern about young athletes and concussions.

In 2011, lawmakers passed a law that requires athletes to be evaluated before they return to the playing field. “So if your child is hurt on the field, they are to be pulled off,” said Dr. Annettee Russo. “They are clinically evaluated and be fully symptom free before they graduate to the return-to-play protocol.”
   
The question though is just how long will young athletes need to sit out with a concussion. For 10-year-old Amilya, she will have to sit on the sidelines for at least a year.

Last April, Amilya was playing in a soccer game when a soccer ball hit her in the head. Amilya never lost consciousness, but she did have a headache and her vision was blurry.

Her doctor suspected that Amilya had a concussion. Her CT scan showed no signs of a serious brain injury, but doctors were still cautious and now Amilya cannot play soccer for several months.
   
According to Dr. Russo, it can take months for a young athlete to recover from a concussion. One reason is because their brains are still developing.

Young athletes are driven to succeed on the playing field, so parents and coaches need to work with these athletes during their recovery.

“The struggle is to really help them understand that if you take the time now, you are going to miss less games and practices,” said Dr. Russo.

Dr. Russo works with athletes at the TOSH Sports Concussion Clinic in Murray. “So we really try to emphasize that yes, it is going to be a rough couple of weeks. But that it is a lot better than an entire season.”

Dr. Russo says parents should also be on the lookout for signs of a concussion. Symptoms of a concussion include:
  • Headache;
  • Nausea;
  • Dizziness;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Nervousness;
  • Irritability; and
  • Trouble falling asleep.

If you suspect your child has a concussion, take him or her to a doctor as soon as possible. For more information on concussions, visit: http://www.impacttest.com/

The TOSH Sports Concussion Clinic in Murray can also help if your child has suffered a concussion. For more information, visit: http://intermountainhealthcare.org/hospitals/tosh/Pages/home.aspx

(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)Concussions and Child Athletes

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