Heads Up: Advice on Preventing Concussions from the CDC

A concussion is a brain injury. Concussions are caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works.

Most people will only experience symptoms from a concussion for a short period of time. But sometimes concussion can lead to long-lasting problems.  The best way to protect yourself and your family from concussions is to prevent them from happening.

There are many ways to reduce the chances that you or your family member will have a concussion or more serious brain injury:

  • Use seat belts and child safety seats every time you drive or ride in a car.
  • Wear a helmet and make sure your children wear helmets that are fitted and maintained properly when:
  • Riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, or scooter;
  • Playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, lacrosse, or boxing;
  • Using in-line skates or riding a skateboard;
  • Batting and running bases in baseball or softball;
  • Riding a horse; or
  • Skiing, sledding, or snowboarding
  • Ensure that during athletic games and practices, you and/or your children:
    • Use the right protective equipment;
    • Follow the safety rules and the rule of the sport;
    • Practice good sportsmanship;
    • Do not return to play with a known or suspected concussion until you have been evaluated and given permission by an appropriate health care professional.
  • Make living areas safer for children by:
    • Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows;
    • Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around;
    • Keeping stairs clear of clutter;
    • Securing rugs and using rubber mats in bathtubs; and
    • Not allowing children to play on unsafe platforms, i.e. fire escapes or balconies.
  • Make sure the surface on your child’s playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand, and is maintained to an appropriate depth.

When to Call the Pediatrician: Signs and Symptoms of Concussion

Here is a list of common signs and symptoms of a concussion.  If you or a family member has an injury to the head and you notice ANY of the symptoms of the list, call Bee Well right away.  You likely need an appointment to see one of our doctors or specialist.

  •   Difficulty thinking clearly
  •   Feeling slowed down
  •   Difficulty concentrating
  •   Difficulty remembering
  •   Difficulty following conversation or   directions
  •   Answers questions more slowly or repeatedly
  •   Dazed or stunned
  •   Headache
  •   Nausea or Vomiting
  •   Clumsiness or balance problems
  •   Dizziness
  •   Fuzzy or blurry vision
  •   Feeling tired all of the time, having no   energy
  •   Sensitivity to light
  •   Sensitivity to noise
  •   Numbness/tingling
  •   Irritability
  •   Sadness
  •   More emotional
  •   Nervousness or anxiety
  •   Sleeping more or less than usual
  •   Trouble falling asleep
  •   Drowsiness

When you visit Dr. Van or Dr. Morgan, here are some important questions to ask:

  • What can I do to help my recovery or my child’s recovery from this injury?
  • When is it safe to get back to my daily routine, such as school, work, or playing sports, and doing other physical activities?
  • What can I do to keep from injuring myself again?

At Bee Well Pediatrics, our physicians are trained and knowledgeable at diagnosing and treating concussions and provide a comprehensive assessment and return to play and school protocols for our patients. We work with local school nurses teachers, athletic trainers, and coaches in Austin, Lakeway, and surrounding areas to ensure your child’s safe return to regular activity and to reduce long-term effects.  Preventing concussions makes a difference.