Head Injury and Concussions

Head injuries are on the rise.  A new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that in 2017, an estimated 15% of high school students experienced 1 or more concussions, and 6% experienced 2 or more (www.nj.gov/education).  Though the increase in high school sport participation since 1972 attribute to this, the early identification of such injury through increased awareness is vital.  Concussion and Head Injury Educational Fact Sheets are now to be distributed to all K-12 student athletes and their families to ensure a students’ safety when participating in interscholastic sports in New Jersey (P.L. 2010, Chapter 94).   In further effort to support awareness as to how a head injury relates to your child for prevention and treatment, please note the following:

What is a Concussion? 

A concussion is a brain injury that disrupts normal functioning of the brain that can impact problem solving, planning, memory, attention, concentration and behavior. 

·       Most concussions do not involve loss of consciousness

·       You can sustain a concussion even if you do not hit your head

·       A blow elsewhere on the body can transmit force to the brain and cause a concussion

What is second-impact syndrome?

Second- impact syndrome occurs when a person sustains a second concussion while still experiencing symptoms of a previous concussion which can lead to severe impairment and even death.

Symptoms of a Concussion reported by the student-athlete (up to 3 days after a concussion)

·       Headache

·       Nausea/Vomiting

·       Balance problems or dizziness

·       Sensitivity to light or sound/noise

·       Double vision or changes in vision

·       Feeling sluggish or foggy

·       Difficulty with concentration and short-term memory, and/or confusion

·       Sleep disturbance

Treatment

·       Follow up with a MD who is trained in the evaluation and management of concussions

·       Ensure adequate rest during recovery of a concussion to reduce stimuli such as watching TV, using computer and texting as these activities can make your symptoms worse

·       Inform the school nurse following a diagnosis of a head injury and/or concussion to support safe planning for re-entry to school  

These guidelines do not constitute medical advice.  For medical advice, please contact your family’s health Care Provider.

Resources on Sports-Related Concussions and other Head Injuries

·       www.bianj.org

·       http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/physicians_tool_kit.html

·       www.somsd.k12.nj.us (to obtain the NJSIAA Parent/Guardian Concussion Policy Form otherwise known as The Educational Fact Sheet)

·       www.sportsconcussion.com

 

REFERENCES

CDC: Concussion Rates Among High Schoolers May be Undercounted (JUNE 25, 2018). PT in Motion Home

Heads Up!  Concussion and the Law:  How Schools are Impacted (April 26, 2012). The Jeanne Hazley   Lecture Series:   Caldwell College, Caldwell, NJ.

Model Policy and Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Sports-Related Concussions and Head     Injuries, 2011 [online].  Available at:  http://www.state.nj.us/education/aps/cccs/chpe/concussions/  [Accessed 4/30/12].