Children many times are too eager to get back on the playing field following a sports injury. Coaches may also put a child back in the game before he or she is physically ready. It is up to parents, then, to make sure enough time has passed for the injury to heal before allowing their child to resume participation in a sports activity. Re-injuries can easily occur when the initial injury has not completely healed. Long-term health problems can also result when a child compensates for an injury by changing the way he or she lands or moves. A concussion is one serious sports injury of which children need adequate time to recover. The length of recovery correlates with the number of concussions the child has sustained. Even where it is the first concussion the child has ever experienced, the child may need up to twelve days to recover. The signs and symptoms of a concussion include:
- Dazed stare.
- Sensitivity to light and sound.
- Changes in reaction time.
- Difficulties with balance, memory, speech, judgment, and/or coordination.
- Loss of consciousness 10% of the time.
Devices advertised to prevent concussions are many times too good to be true. Such devices detect impact to the head. They should not be used if they lack empirical evidence to show an actual reduction in the risk of concussions. Even with the testing to back their claims, the devices will not prevent concussions caused by forceful impact to the body, which further shakes the brain against the skull. It is, then, really up to parents to advocate for adequate healing and recovery time for their child following a sports injury.