Help! My Teen Has a Concussion

Help! My Teen Has a Concussion

While sports-related injuries often come to mind as a possible cause of concussion, they can occur as the result of any head trauma. 

Falls, car accidents, or unintentional collisions in a pool can lead to a concussion. Most importantly, even a minor concussion can cause significant health complications if ignored.

Dr. Andrew Lerman and his team at Gables Neurology in Miami, Florida, are happy to offer insight regarding post-concussion care.

Understanding concussions

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. 

This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce or twist within the skull, leading to chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging the brain cells.

Teen athletes are at a higher risk for concussions, especially those involved in contact sports such as soccer, hockey, football, and lacrosse. However, teens participating in cheerleading, cycling, recreational activities such as skateboarding, or simply hanging out with friends are also vulnerable. 

Thus, recognizing the signs and symptoms of a concussion is essential when it comes to gauging whether your teen’s latest mishap may have caused one.

Symptoms of a concussion

While symptoms can vary from person to person, common signs of a concussion include:

Having one concussion increases the risk of another, and multiple concussions can negatively affect brain health and function. 

Helping your teen during concussion recovery

As a parent or guardian, there are several ways you can support your teen during their concussion recovery:

Seek medical attention

If you suspect your teen has a concussion, it's essential to seek medical attention immediately. A health care professional can assess the severity of their injury and provide guidance on the best course of action.

Encourage rest

Rest is crucial for concussion recovery. Individuals diagnosed with even mild concussions are typically encouraged to limit activities for 3-4 days following their injury.

Encourage your teen to take a break from physical and cognitive activities, including schoolwork, screen time, and sports, until they fully recover.

Monitor symptoms

Keep a close eye on your teen's symptoms and communicate with them regularly about how they're feeling. Call the doctor if symptoms worsen, don’t resolve as expected, or new symptoms develop.

Create a supportive environment

Concussion recovery can be frustrating for teens, especially if it means missing out on school, sports, or social activities. Exercise patience and provide a supportive environment for your teen to rest and recover, including limiting screen time.

Gradual return to activities

Once your teen's symptoms have improved, gradually reintroduce activities such as schoolwork, sports, and screen time. Take it slow and listen to your teen's feedback to avoid pushing them too hard too soon.

Educate others

Ensure that teachers, coaches, and other caregivers know about your teen's concussion and understand the necessary accommodations and restrictions prescribed by their physician.

We also recommend providing your teen with age-appropriate information about the potential risks of ignoring a concussion and the symptoms to watch for after a fall, sports injury, or other trauma.

While a concussion can be a concerning experience, with the proper support and guidance, most teens recover fully within a few weeks.

For more information about concussions or any services we offer, schedule an evaluation with Dr. Lerman at Gables Neurology today. Call our office or request an appointment online.

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