When interviewing parents and adolescents about sports participation, it is important to get a thorough history of possible concussive events. Many parents will report, “Oh, he/she hit her head but didn’t black out.

It’s important to educate them to the signs of concussion: loss of consciousness (LOC); alteration of consciousness (AOC), including dizziness, seeing stars, confusion, or disorientation for any period of time; and post-traumatic amnesia (PTA), in which the person can’t recall events that occurred immediately before or after the hit.

These are all signs of a concussion, and the child who experiences any of them should be evaluated by a medical professional to determine when he or she can safely return to play. — Barbara Cross, PhD, APRN-BC, Hampton, Va. (188-6)

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