Fall sports are kicking into gear- too bad it is the hottest time of the year. Please take the time to look over this information from SafeKids to help keep those kiddos safe and healthy!
Physicals and Preparedness
I take my child to the doctor for an annual pre-participation physical evaluation (PPE) before the sports season begins.
My child’s coaches have our emergency contact information (phone numbers, doctor information and allergy information).
I meet with my child’s coach before the first practice to share any history of asthma or other medical conditions that may require special attention.
I encourage my child to warm up and stretch before practices and games.
I send my kids to practices and games with a water bottle. I encourage my athletes to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after play.
My child’s coach has regular water breaks in place so that the kids are drinking plenty of fluids during practices and games.
I know and look for the signs and symptoms of dehydration, and make sure that my athlete and the coach knows them as well.
My child has the right equipment and is wearing it for both practices and games. The right equipment may include helmets, shin guards, mouth guards, ankle braces, shoes with rubber cleats and sunscreen.
I know and look for the signs and symptoms of a concussion, and make sure that my athlete and the coach know them as well.
If my child is suspected of having a concussion, I make sure he or she is removed from play right away and stays out of the game or practice until evaluated and released by a medical professional.
WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?
A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump or blow to the head. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,“ or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.
You can’t see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days or weeks after the injury. If your child reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek medical attention right away.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMSOF A CONCUSSION?
Signs Observed by Parents or Guardians
If your child has experienced a bump or blow to the head during a game or practice, look for any of the following signs and symptoms of a concussion:
• Appears dazed or stunned
• Is confused about assignment or position
• Forgets an instruction
• Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
• Moves clumsily
• Answers questions slowly
• Loses consciousness (even briefly)
• Shows behavior or personality changes
• Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall
• Can’t recall events after hit or fall
Symptoms Reported by Athlete
• Headache or “pressure” in head
• Nausea or vomiting
• Balance problems or dizziness
• Double or blurry vision
• Sensitivity to light
• Sensitivity to noise
• Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
• Concentration or memory problems
• Does not “feel right”
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR CHILD PREVENT A CONCUSSION?
Every sport is different, but there are steps your children can take to protect themselves from injuries, such as concussion.
• Ensure that they follow their coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
• Encourage them to practice good sportsmanship at all times.
• Make sure they wear the right protective equipment for their activity (such as helmets, padding, shin guards, and eye and mouth guards). Protective equipment should fit properly, be well maintained, and be worn consistently and correctly.
• Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU THINK YOUR CHILD HAS A CONCUSSION?
1. Seek medical attention right away. A health care professional will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your child to return to sports.
2. Keep your child out of play. Concussions take time to heal. Don’t let your child return to play until a health care professional says it’s 0K. Children who return to play too soon – while the brain is still healing – risk a greater chance of having a second concussion. Repeat or later concussions can be very serious. They can cause permanent brain damage, affecting your child for a lifetime.
3. Tell your child’s coach about any recent concussion. Coaches should know if your child had a recent concussion. Your child’s coach may not know about a concussion your child received in another sport or activity unless you tell the coach.