More children and teens are involved in higher impact sports such as soccer, football, lacrosse, hockey, and others. However, thanks to recent and ongoing research, there is better recognition of symptoms and diagnosis, and subsequently, changes in treatment and care of concussions. What seems to be very conservative in treatment is actually more appropriate when the development of the adolescent brain is taken into consideration. The brain does not stop developing until the early to mid 20's. Therefore, injuries occuring at a younger age can have a lasting and significant impact on the brain's optimal function.
Symptoms of a concussion include: Headaches, foggy/cloudy or slower thinking/processing, short/long term memory loss, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, inability to focus/concentrate, irritability, balance difficulties, and sensitivity to light or noise. Loss of consciousness does not have to be present to have a concussion.
Sometimes the symptoms do not appear immediately. Symptoms can appear 12-48 hours after the injury.
Immediately following a head injury or the diagnosis of a concussion, physicians prefer the teenager to "shut down," or avoid any "brain activities" for only a short amount of time. Cognitive function or "brain activities" should remain at a level below the current symptoms, which means activity is ok as long as it doesn't cause an increase in the current concussion symptoms. For a teenager, brain activities are described as reading, playing video games, texting, any computer use, watching TV, homework, and school work. As symptoms resolve, the teen can gradually return to small amounts of activity for shortened periods of time, with breaks to give the brain an opportunity to rest. This is VERY important for healing - the more an individual pays attention to the symptoms and rests when needed, the quicker and better outcome/recovery he or she will experience.
Libertyville High School strives to support students diagnosed with a concussion in accordance with medical professional recommendations and Illinois mandates. We have designed a protocol for concussion care specific to the educational community at LHS. Please refer to this for guidance during a student's recovery period. Contact one of the school nurses or athletic trainer with any questions.
More information on concussions can be found at: