Approximately 50% of concussions in children and adolescents are under reported due to fear of being removed from game, lack of knowledge of common signs and symptoms or not believing that seemingly minor symptoms such as headache are serious enough to report.
If your child has had a previous concussion they are possibly at increased risk of recurrent concussion and increased severity of symptoms.
This review has found that children and adolescents between five and 18 years are four times more likely to develop a recurrent concussion than those not previously concussed. It is also now widely accepted that children’s concussions should be managed more conservatively than adults.
The diagnosis of concussion has improved six-fold from 2013 to 2016 and increasing awareness and understanding of concussion has helped improve our subsequent management of residual concussion symptoms.
Physiotherapists experienced in concussion management can assist in returning children to sport following clearance from a medical practitioner.
The Concussion in Sport website (concussioninsport.gov.au) is a great resource for athletes, parents, coaches, support staff, medical practitioners and organisations.
You can refer to this website from Sport Australia for the common signs and symptoms of concussion, to assist you in recognising these in your child, and for advice on the management of concussion.
Many sports have developed guidelines to assist athletes return to sport following a suspected or diagnosed concussion. As an example, below is the NSW Institute of Sport guidelines for return to diving post concussion for our athletes under 18 years of age.
Please note that this information is only an example of a return to sport guideline. If you suspect your child has received a concussion it is advised that you take them to be assessed by a medical practitioner.