Consumer Reports: Concussions 101

Concussions are a common type of sports injury and while they are usually not life-threatening, they can still be serious. (Image credit: Consumer Reports)

There are so many benefits associated with kids playing sports, but, as the spring season gets under way, parents also need to be aware of the dangers of concussions. Concussions are a common type of sports injury. While they are usually not life-threatening, they can still be serious.

Parents may feel helpless, but Consumer Reports says there are some things you can do, starting with prevention. Talk to the coach. Have a conversation about player safety. Ask what coaches are doing, ask what they're thinking about concussion prevention.

Neurologist and Consumer Reports Medical Director Orly Avitzur says it's important to take any blow to the head seriously. If you think your child has had a concussion, pull them out of the game. You don't want them to return to play on the same day as a concussion, even if you think their symptoms have resolved.

Symptoms can come about quickly or be delayed a day or two. Look for things like nausea, headache, confusion, dizziness and memory problems. After a lot of rest and rehabilitation, the athlete usually has fully recovered. But treatment depends on the extent of the injury. And, while most symptoms resolve within a week or two, don't be surprised if they linger.

You should be sure your child has medical clearance to go back to playing sports after a concussion. While healing, rest is important, but current thinking suggests it's also OK to have some gentle physical activity such as walking in the first few days after a concussion, if your child is up to it. Getting up and around a bit may actually promote quicker healing.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2018 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.

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