GRETNA, LA (WAFB) - March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and the Gretna Police Department is reminding parents and coaches of the signs of concussions ahead of the spring and summer months in which children begin to participate in a variety of recreational sports.
The department says a child in the U.S. is treated for a sports-related concussion every three minutes. A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows the number of sports-related concussions is highest in high school athletes, but they are significant and on the rise in younger athletes.
Police say it is important to remember the following warning signs associated with concussions:
- Glassy eyes
- Clumsiness or poor balance
- Slowed speech
- Changes in mood, behavior or personality
Research indicates most children and teens who have a concussion feel better within a couple of weeks, according to the National Safety Council. However, for some, symptoms may last for months or longer and can lead to short-term and long-term problems affecting how they think, act, learn and feel.
Following a concussion, athletes of all ages are advised to undergo a series of steps before returning to play: rest, then light exercise and sport-specific training. Only then should they be cleared to resume contact drills.