Children are already filtering back to school, instruments are being dusted off for band lessons, and parents are dishing out loads of cash for sports equipment. There is a great anticipation of concerts, Friday nights in cold stadiums, traveling for out of town exhibitions, daily practices, and not to mention the hours and miles required to make sure our children are where they need to be.
If your child is in sports, there will be loads of dirty clothes, late nights, broken equipment, skinned knees…and the potential for sports-related concussions. Not too long ago we didn’t think much about concussions. Players were given some time to rest and “shake it off” and then back on the team. At great cost, we now have learned the devastating effects of a concussion on our children. So, is there anything you can do to prevent a concussion or do you know the symptoms? And if your child does receive a concussion, what are your treatment options?
SPORTS CONCUSSION PREVENTION
Sports is so important to our children’s experience and has innumerable benefits such as skill development, team building, character building, and just the simple joy of watching them do something they love. As a parent, it brings us an indescribable pride to watch our son or daughter participate in a sport. On the other side of the coin, the risk of engaging in a sport is a potential injury.
It’s a fact that 5-10% of all athletes will experience a concussion. Sports are second only to motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of traumatic brain injury among individuals 15-24 years of age. The chances of sustaining a concussion increase significantly depending on the sport – with football and soccer being the most common causes of concussion, at a 75% and 50% chance of concussions, respectively.
According to the Brain Injury Alliance of NJ, here are the best ways to prevent Sports Concussions.
- Play by the rules. Teaching young athletes to respect the rules of their sport is part of good coaching.
- Wear the appropriate equipment for your sport and wear it properly. Always close a chin strap if your sport requires a helmet; many concussions occur during practice.
- Examine the playing field for uneven areas or holes.
- Make sure that end posts are padded sufficiently.
- Practice good sportsmanship. Teaching good sportsmanship is part of good coaching and good parenting minimizing unnecessary aggression on the field.
- Learn and use proper technique for your sport. Some sports organizations have taken additional action to minimize the risk of concussion by limiting the number of contact practices allowed during the season.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your child athlete it is always better to be safe and have your child checked for a possible concussion.
- Noise and/or light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
- Unequal pupils
- Mental fog
- Balance issues
- Emotional sensitivity
- Sleep disturbances
A concussion can be a crucial matter so it is wise to take symptoms seriously. Usually, the first 1 or 2 concussions will not have lasting implications, however, permanent damage can result from multiple concussions. Concussions should always be taken seriously, even if symptoms do not appear at first.
CONCUSSION TREATMENT OPTIONS
Your school and coaches should be well-equipped to recommend medical personnel who can carefully and accurately diagnose your child. Your child athlete will most likely be assessed using the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) or Child-SCAT3. Each injury is different and will require protocol specific for your child and their injury. However, REST is crucial for athletes with concussions. As we mentioned before, some symptoms may appear at a later date and could easily be attributed to anything. Keep a watchful eye and bring up even subtle differences you notice to your practitioner. Your doctor and school will have to determine when and if your child can return to the field.
LENS THERAPY FOR CONCUSSIONS
Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) is a non-traditional and non-invasive option for treating a sports concussion. LENS can pinpoint damage in the brain. Each treatment is painless and lasts only a few minutes but we see amazing results!
What LENS therapy does is learn what parts of the brain have been impacted by the sports injury. It “reprograms” the brain to return it to normal function.
As with any therapy, each individual responds differently. We find that a minimum of 10 sessions is recommended for the most benefit, but we will develop an individualized program for your child. We start by mapping the brain to understand how it is communicating and where there might be some “hiccups”. LENS is perfect for children because the only thing required during a treatment is sitting in a chair (or stand if you want). It is painless and is conducted through electrodes the size of a dime placed on their head.
We offer FREE consultations and would love to opportunity to help you and your child have the most successful school year ever! Contact us for more information:
At Harmonized Brain Centers we focus on Low Energy Neurofeedback (LENS) Therapy to support our clients. Interested in knowing more about brain health or how we can help you? Visit our website or call us at 719-661-6422 and we will be happy to discuss how we can help you with the health and function of your brain.