Concussion in Teens - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Image: iStock

As your teen grows up, he begins to take part in contact sports, and sometimes, risky activities like rash driving, or riding. These uncontrolled actions can lead to grievous bodily harm and injuries. In such a case, your teen may suffer from a concussion. MomJunction has put together some crucial information on concussions in teens, and how it can affect them.

What Is A Concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury that temporarily alters the functioning of the human brain. A direct blow or hit to the head can lead to a concussion. Most young teens who hurt their heads also suffer from a concussion, and may also experience short-term memory loss. Moreover, the symptoms of a concussion persist longer than the short-term memory loss and can depress a teen.

Important Facts About Concussion In Teenagers:

  • When a teen gets knocked out or falls unconscious after a sudden fall or accident, it can increase his risk of a concussion. Hence, it is important to stay aware of the different symptoms of a concussion. It is important to keep the afflicted teen under close observation, even if he feels fine. If he experiences any symptoms, take him to a medical specialist immediately.
  • A concussion in teens can occur due to a direct hit to the head, a sudden fall, a car accidents, whiplash, or a sports injury. The sudden jarring movement can tear the blood vessels or damage the nerves in the brain.
  • When your teen gets a concussion, he may recover from the condition after a few weeks. But for a faster recovery, he must adhere to all precautionary measures like avoiding sport and other strenuous physical activity.

[ Read: Safe Driving Tips For Teenagers ]

Symptoms Of Concussion In Teenagers:

Concussions usually affect teens who are involved in contact sports or the ones who take undue risks. A concussion is a serious brain injury, and left untreated it can increase your teen’s risk of experiencing long-term adverse impacts. As soon as the doctor detects your teen has a concussion, you should take the doctor’s advice rather seriously to help your teen overcome the condition quickly. You can also monitor your teen and offer him the help he needs in his studies and other daily activities.

Here is a list of symptoms of concussion that your teen may experience during such a terrible phase of life:

1. Dizziness:

  • Your teen may feel the sensation of dizziness, and he may feel that everything around him rotates at a high speed.

2. Confusion:

  • One of the most common symptoms of concussion is memory loss.
  • Your teen may find difficult to remember even the small things, and he may seem confused all the time.
  • So, whenever you direct your child to perform certain activities, remember to be precise while instructing him. Keep the instructions clear and straightforward, so that he quickly understands them.

3. Headache:

  • The grievous brain injury can trigger persistent headaches.
  • Even after recovery, the signs of a headache persist for a longer time span than normal.

[ Read: Common Risky Behaviors In Teens ]

4. Slurred Speech:

  • The following symptom only appears, when the particular part of your teen’s brain gets injured due to the accident.
  • When the part of the brain controlling the cognitive functioning gets affected, then his speech can become slow or slurred.

5. Emotional Signs:

  • Your afflicted teen turn moody and he may experience several psychological conditions like depression, sadness, or irritability.

6. Disturbed Sleep Pattern:

  • The human brain regulates the sleep pattern. When your teen has an unexpected head injury, some part of his brain gets damaged and he may find difficult to get complete sleep.

7. Loss Of Balance:

  • Brain injuries can often lead to a loss of mental balance and mind-body coordination in teens.
  • Some common signs of a loss of balance may include dizziness, clumsiness, and irritability.

8. Nausea:

  • Your teen can also experience the sick-to-the-stomach feeling, and he may often feel nauseous or the urge to vomit.
  • In the case of severe headaches, he may also actually vomit for repetitive times a day.

9. Light Or Noise Sensitivity:

  • Your teen may want to avoid loud sound or bright lights.
  • Loud noises can irritate him quickly and even increase the severity of a headache.
  • Fortunately, all such symptoms fade away when your afflicted teen recovers from his condition slowly.

Preventing A Concussion In Teenagers:

Here are few crucial things that parents can do to minimize their teen’s risk of having a concussion:

1. Instruct Your Teen To Wear Safety Gear:

  • The first step that every parent needs to take to prevent concussion and the long-term risks is to know the risks associated with their teen’s sports or activities.
  • If you have a teen studying in high schools, make sure that he takes part in contact sports like football or volleyball after wearing the appropriate safety gears.
  • Even girls participating in basketball needs to wear the right-sized safety gears, as it minimizes their risk of fatal brain injuries.
  • At the beginning of the sports season, take out your time to inspect all the safety gears of your teen and make sure they are in good condition.
  • Broken helmets or damaged safety padding can increase your teen’s risk to meet fatal injuries during the sports.
  • Almost all the contact or riding sports may require the teen to wear the safety helmet. Make sure to purchase the right-sized helmet, so that it fits properly on his head. Some if the football concussions occur, when the teen wears a large or a non-fastened helmet.

[ Read: Essential Life Skills For Teens ]

2. Make Your Teen Aware Of The Symptoms Of Concussion:

  • Your teen may not let you know about his experiencing concussions symptoms, until it becomes severe or unbearable.
  • Educate your teen about the symptoms of concussion, and make him understand that the head injuries can also lead to life-threatening outcomes, when not treated properly.
  • Discuss with your teen about concussion and its associated long term effects. When your teen understands the consequences, he may learn to comply with proper use of safety gears and adherence to sports rules.

Did your teen suffer a concussion? What precautionary measures did you take to protect your teen from the long-term complications? Share your tips and advice here. Leave a comment below.

Recommended Articles: