Watch symptoms, say concussion specialists
Brain injury specialists say they walk a fine line when trying to convince people that concussions are serious injuries.
They don't want parents to panic each time a kid gets a bump on the head.
“We have to be careful to not be catastrophic,” said Dr. Sue Beers, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Active kids bump their heads a lot, often without telling their parents, so it's important to pay attention to symptoms such as headaches, nausea, blurred or doubled vision, dizziness, sensitivity to light and noise, or memory problems, Beers said.
“If you start seeing some or all of these symptoms, and they don't start to slowly get better every day after the concussion, the parents shouldn't wait to talk to their pediatrician,” she said.
That's particularly true if symptoms worsen.
Someone with a concussion does not necessarily develop all of these symptoms, but they are the most common ones. Concussions can cause changes in behavior — a normally energetic child might become tired and cranky, for example.
Immediate treatment calls for physical and cognitive rest for up to five days, said Jonathan French, a clinical neuropsychologist with the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program.
“Pretty much everyone we see, we recommend cognitive rest right away,” French said.
A return to school depends on the student's symptoms and what he or she can tolerate, French said: “Each concussion and each individual is going to be different in their recovery.”
Some students can return to school right away; others need to stay home longer. They might need accommodations such as a quiet place to eat lunch or scheduling changes that enable them to rest.
UPMC's concussion program began a study in January, gathering data on about 100 students to see how various accommodations affected their recoveries, French said. It expects to publish the results within the year.
Brian Bowling is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He canbe reached at 412-325-4301or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Padres snap Pirates’ 7-game win streak
- Steelers nose tackle McCullers finds performance, fitness go hand in hand
- Ford City ambulance company recognized for quality of heart attack care
- Padres snap Pirates’ 7-game win streak
- McKeesport alternative education students will move as academy closes
- Earning merit badges won’t be a walk in the park for Slate Lick Scouts
- Judge to shine light on whether West Kittanning billboard is a nuisance
- Driver dies, students hurt in school van crash in Indiana County
- Paddleboard classes focus on fitness
- Buena Vista pool anticipates its best season
- Point Park graduate’s ‘mugshot’ photos hit nerve on racism