Medical Experts Educate Parents in Diagnosing Sports Concussions - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Medical Experts Educate Parents in Diagnosing Sports Concussions

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A group of medical experts in Albemarle County is working to educate parents and coaches to diagnose and treat sports concussions in young athletes.

Brain specialists say determining whether an athlete has a concussion can be difficult because the injured person might minimize symptoms to get back in the game. Even more frustrating, those symptoms are different with each person.

Saturday morning, medical experts from the Brain Injury Clinic at the University of Virginia collaborated with ACAC Fitness Center to put on a seminar about diagnosis and treatment of sports concussions.

They told the crowd at ACAC Seminole Square that one thing is important: paying attention after an athlete takes a hard hit because he or she will not act the same.

“A lot of times children post-concussion will feel a little more frustrated by their environment,” said UVA Medical School associate professor Jason Freeman. “Things will get under their skin a little more quickly, they may be more restless, they may have a harder time communicating.”

The experts stress communication is critical between parents, coaches, teachers and health care providers.

“The range of options include when to start to introduce that student or athlete back to their normal activities and how to get there some children take several weeks others take months,” said UVA pediatric neurologist Dr. Howard Goodkin.

They say it usually takes seven to ten days for most young athletes to recover from a concussion.

If kids do not recover by then, the experts encourage parents to get additional help.

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