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Concussions Bench Pros...So Why Not Our Kids?

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My husband sent me this article yesterday. Being an athlete and an avid baseball fan, he can rattle off story upon story of MLB players and their injuries, including head injuries causing issues into adult life. It has always amazed him how many players are not benched after mind-numbing head injuries.

According to the Mets MLB website,

"...outfielder Ryan Church will be placed on the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday's game because of lingering effects from a concussion suffered May 20 in Atlanta." What's telling to me about the article is that he was benched because of vague symptoms, not obvious ones like headache or dizziness. Chuch's big complaint was just not feeling "100%" and a "pulsating feeling" in his head. That was enough for the neurologist he saw to feel his brain needed to rest. This was his second concussion in three months. He did experience symptoms after the first concussion but talked the Mets into letting him play. Perhaps not the wisest move for Church or the Mets.

At the moment he is on the DL for 15 days but realistically it could take much longer for his brain to heal. The moral of this story is that concussion symptoms may not be obvious and that any symptoms after a concussion need to be taken seriously.

Like the pros, kids need to be benched, too, after a concussion. It is very important you don't try and argue your kids back into the game or attempt to minimize the symptoms. Your kids only have one brain and it can't be fixed as well as the rest of the body after it is injured. Time is the brain's best protector after an injury and we have to be sure that the amount of time required to heal after a concussion is allowed.

What's the downside if you rush it? Not only life long learning and concentration problems but second impact syndrome which can be fatal.

Check out the MomsTeam Concussion Safety Center for more information on this important topic. And, when in doubt after a bonk to the head in sports, keep your kids benched until you have had them fully examined by either their own pediatrician or a neurologist. Just remember, your kids have only one brain...say that to yourself over and over again and then one more time. The health of that brain is more important than playing in one more game and risking life long problems as well as your child's health.