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Many of us are at risk for a concussion and we don't even know it. Daily activities such as playing sports, riding a bike, and driving or riding in a car may raise your chances of getting a concussion.
While most of us won't experience a concussion, it's always a good idea to be prepared. Here are 10 things you should know about concussions to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
A concussion is not just a bad headache from bumping your head. It is a kind of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that needs to be taken seriously.
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Many people believe that you have to black out after an injury for it to be a concussion. But, most concussions do not result in a loss of consciousness. Signs of concussions can include:
Just because someone doesn't immediately start showing signs of having a concussion does not mean they are in the clear. According to the National Institute of Health, some concussion symptoms may not show up until a day or two after the injury.
Getting knocked in the head is a common cause of concussions. But, they can also happen when the head or upper body is violently shaken such as in a car crash.
It can be harder to tell if young children have a concussion because they may not be able to tell you how they are feeling. So, as well as looking out for the common signs of a concussion mentioned in #2, it's important to look out for these in young children:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) children and teens do not recover as quickly from concussions as do adults. Parents can help their children heal by making sure they get plenty of rest and stay away from activities such as riding bikes or playing sports until their doctor gives the OK.
The sports that lead to the most TBI-related ER visits are football, basketball, soccer and bicycling. But, that doesn't mean that concussions won't happen in other sports and activities. All coaches, parents and athletes need to know the signs of a concussion and what to do if a concussion does happen.
It's very important to rest after a concussion so that your brain can heal. Even if you are feeling better, your brain may not be back to its normal functioning. Wait until your doctor says you can safely return to play, otherwise you run the chance of having a more serious brain injury than you began with.
If you or someone you know has concussion you should go see your doctor. Your doctor may do a scan of your brain or give you other tests that test your ability to pay attention, solve problems and quickly think. According to the CDC, even if these tests and scans do not show that you have a concussion, you may still have one. It's important to follow your doctor's orders and follow up with them if your symptoms worsen.
Here are some tips to lower your chances of getting a concussion: