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Children's Health Channel
Reported January 10, 2013

Concussion Test: Noggin Knowledge

BALTIMORE, Md. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Many parents worry about dangerous head injuries, with good reason; as many as 10% of athletes will experience a concussion in any given sport season. What you don’t know about this common injury could put your child at risk. We reveal some common myths.

Hollie Byer knows what it’s like to play with pain. She’s suffered four concussions!

“I remember just feeling so nauseous after the game,” says Hollie Byer.

The injuries have worried her mom.

“I think about it even before she goes on the field, the night before she goes on the field,” says Anita Byer, Hollie’s mother.

Doctor Kevin Crutchfield says there are many myths about concussions parents should know. The first? You have to lose consciousness to get one.

“That’s not true at all. You don’t even have to hit your head to have a concussion,” explains Kevin Crutchfield, M.D., a Neurologist from LifeBridge Health in Baltimore, MD.

Another: if someone has a concussion, you should keep them awake. In fact, Dr. Crutchfield says sleeping, or resting the brain, is best for healing.

The next myth: everyone who hits their head needs a brain scan. In fact, for kids radiation from a scan can be more dangerous than a head injury.

“Their risk of having a surgical lesion and having to go to the OR is dramatically less than your child developing thyroid cancer from the exposure to radiation,” Dr. Crutchfield tells Ivanhoe.

 Helmets protect against concussions, right? Wrong! They’re designed only to prevent skull fractures.

Dr. Crutchfield explains that, “A helmet can never stop the brain from shaking inside the head.”

The last myth: boys get more concussions than girls. Actually, the rates are similar among the sexes but symptoms may vary. Boys experience things like balance problems, while girls suffer fatigue or low energy after a concussion.  

Hollie knows the dangers, but she can’t stay away from the game she loves.

“I’m not really afraid to be out on that field because I think that’s where I was meant to be,” says Hollie.

She hopes to make it through this season injury-free!

Football is the riskiest sport for concussions among males, while soccer is the riskiest among females. 78% of concussions occur during games as opposed to at practices.

For additional research on this article, click here.

Sign up for a free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs called First to Know by clicking here.

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Andrew McIntosh at amcintosh@ivanhoe.com.

For More Information, Please Contact:

Kevin E. Crutchfield, MD, Director of Comprehensive Sports Concussion Program

Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, MD

kcrutchf@lifebridgehealth.org

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