Q: My son hit his head playing soccer, and I'm concerned that he might have a concussion. What should I do?
A: If you suspect your child has a concussion, it is always a good idea to seek medical attention from a sports-medicine physician who specializes in concussion management. Some of the most noticeable concussion symptoms include headache, confusion, dizziness, nausea and/or vomiting, changes in mood or behavior, changes in sleep habits and memory loss. Your physician will ask your child several questions and examine for any signs of injury to determine whether or not your child has a concussion. Most concussions are diagnosed without imaging, but your doctor may order a CT scan to rule out more serious injury. The most effective treatment for a concussion is rest.
Most concussions will improve over time with limited strenuous physical activity, limited use of electronic devices and plenty of rest. If your child develops more severe symptoms, such as vomiting more than three times, worsening or severe headache, seizure, trouble walking or talking, vision problems, complaints of weakness or numbness in any part of their body, loss of bladder or bowel control or inability to wake up, you should notify your doctor immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
— Dr. Derek Worley, Erlanger Sports and Health Institute; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society