Pay attention to concussion signs

If your high school athlete is playing in 7-on-7 summer football leagues or heading out to the practice field this month, UT Southwestern Medical Center sports medicine doctors urge parents to take time to review the latest guidelines about concussions.

Look over the equipment and make sure it fits properly, particularly the helmet. Make sure your athlete knows how to wear it properly and does so even in practice.

“Parents, coaches and student athletes should know what symptoms to pay attention to,” notes Dr. Robert Dimeff, director of family sports medicine at UT Southwestern. “The signs and symptoms can come immediately after the impact or even days later.”

Athletes need to let a parent, coach or other adult know if they are feeling signs such as headache or “pressure” in their head, nausea or vomiting, balance problems or dizziness, blurry vision, sensitivity to light or noise, drowsiness or fatigue, and concentration problems or confusion, Dr. Dimeff says.

Parents should note mood or behavioral changes, including athletes appearing stunned, dazed or confused about homework, particularly work that was not difficult before an injury.

“Those symptoms justify a doctor’s visit so a concussion isn’t overlooked,” Dr. Dimeff adds.

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Media Contact: Russell Rian