Jamaica Hospital Offers Information to Parents About Sports-Related Concussions

This fall, millions of children and teens across America will be returning to school and many of them will be trying out and playing for their school’s various sports teams.

While the health benefits, exercise and comradery associated with youth sports is undeniable, parents must also educate themselves and their children about the potential dangers of sports-related concussions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a concussion is “a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. This fast movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging the brain cells.”

Largely associated with football, concussions are actually prevalent in many major sports including soccer, gymnastics, hockey and lacrosse and they can occur while participating in any physical activity.

To minimize the chances of sustaining a concussion, it is important for coaches and parents to create a culture of safety in youth athletics. This includes teaching proper safety techniques on the field of play and making sure that children follow those rules.  Another key to reduce the chances of a child or teen suffering complications from a concussion is to educate them on their signs and symptoms. If children are aware of not only the symptoms, but the dangers of not reporting a concussion, they are more likely to inform a coach or parent when they experience one.

Symptoms of a concussion can include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down.”

It is important to understand that not all concussions are created equal. Those who suffer one many experience some, but not all symptoms and the severity of those symptoms may vary from person to person.

If you believe that your child has suffered a concussion, you should remove them from play immediately and have them seen by their healthcare provider who can assess the severity of his or her injury via an examination and conduct additional tests if necessary. Typically, treatment for a concussion involves rest and restricting the patient from activity.

If your child does not have a healthcare provider, or they are unavailable when they sustain a concussion, you should take your child to a nearby hospital emergency department, such as the one at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

According to the Coalition for Headache and Migraine Patients (CHAMP), June is recognized by the federal government as National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.

More than 38 million people in the United States experience migraines or some type of tension headache with 2 -3 million of them experiencing chronic migraines.

The exact causes of migraines are unknown.  People with migraine or tension headaches may have a tendency to be affected by certain triggers such as fatigue, bright lights, weather changes and hypertension.

Some symptoms of migraine or tension headaches are:

  • Throbbing pain, numbness, weakness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vertigo
  • Mood changes
  • Neck pain
  • Vision changes

Treatment for migraine or tension headaches depends on the how often or how severe the headache is, the level of disability your headache may cause and contributing medical conditions you may have.

Over the counter medications such as anti-nausea or Ibuprofen may help with more minor episodes, but if you are experiencing multiple headaches per month lasting more than 12 hours, over the counter medications aren’t helping and your migraine symptoms include numbness or weakness, it is best to consult your physician.

If you are experiencing painful migraine or tension headaches, the Ambulatory Care Center at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center has convenient hours and days of operation.  To schedule an appointment, call 718-206-7001.

To learn more about migraines and tension headaches visit – https://migraine.com/migraine-statistics/

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Concussion: A brain-bang

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Concussion: A topic that is receiving a great deal of attention recently, but what is it? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that rattles the brain inside the skull. When the body is jolted, causing a whiplash reaction of the neck and head, this can cause the brain to become disoriented within the skull.  A concussion can be caused by a number of things such as: sports-related injuries, fights, falls, mobile accidents, and playground injuries.

Motor vehicle precautions can be exercised by children and adults by wearing a seatbelt at all times and keeping your child in a car or booster seat based on age, height and weight requirements. Safety measures to be practiced at home include the installation of window guards to ensure your child does not fall out of an open window and safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.

Children and adults should practice helmet safety when riding bicycles, motorcycles, hover-boards, scooters, or all-terrain vehicles. If you are playing a contact sport it is encouraged that you wear a helmet as well. For those contact sports that do not require protective head gear, like soccer, it is important to be vigilant and know the symptoms.

Here are some clues to identify if you have a concussion:

  • Headache
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to bright lights or loud sounds
  • Irritability
  • Changes in sleep patterns, either insomnia or sleeping more often than usual

A lot of people may experience headaches and dizziness for a day then recover fully, but about five percent of people sustain injuries causing life threatening bleeding if not properly diagnosed. The Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is open 24/7 to diagnose and treat concussions. So, how do you know if you should seek medical attention or wait and see? The best answer to this is, when in doubt, check it out!

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.