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This is a sponsored post in partnership with The Motherhood on behalf of UPMC
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. Cheering their child on in sports at a game or at practice, and something happens that results in their child getting a concussion.
No parent or child ever wants to experience it, and although concussions are serious, there is good news. Concussions are treatable. Active treatment approaches are effective. Patients can achieve full recovery.
If not treated appropriately and completely, having a history of concussion may make someone more vulnerable to re-injury. That’s why it is important for parents to have a rock-solid action plan in place to refer to if a concussion ever occurs with one of their children.
I have several mom friends who went through it. As I watched the various ups and downs of their child’s recovery (not UPMC patients), I noticed that while each scenario was unique, at the root of each experience was an overwhelming feeling of fear of what was to come for their child in the future.
These experiences taught me that while nothing is truly unpreventable, the best way to handle the fear of a possible concussion is to be prepared with the knowledge, resources and the actions necessary.
If your child ever suffers a concussion while playing sports, there are four things that you can do as a parent to ensure a successful recovery.
Don’t Panic: Be Strong
I get it: as concussion awareness grows, so do misconceptions. Fear is instilled in both parents and athletes alike, when it doesn’t have to be. However, remember to stay positive, keeping in mind that concussion is a treatable injury in the right hands.
Let’s be honest: concussions can be scary. They are scary for both you and your child. From the field to the emergency room and even during the recovery phase, your child will consistently look to you as a measure of how scared they should be.
While you indeed will be worried about your child’s prognosis and road to recovery, the best thing you can do for your child is to be a source of strength for them. Your calm, reassuring, and encouraging demeanor will be one of the major keys to your child’s overall recovery.
You may hear other parents tell you the concussion recovery stories of their children, and wonder why your child’s experience seems to be different. Understand that no two concussions are the same, and no two recovery stories are the same. In fact, the road to recovering from a concussion can be made longer by various risk factors.
Communicate with Doctors
Having experienced plenty of medical situations with my children through the years, I know the feeling of being afraid to ask questions out of fear of “interrupting” the attending doctors as they do their job. However, when a concussion happens, asking questions about treatment and state of care is critical to overall recovery. Set your fears aside and remember that the treatment professionals are a part of your team.
Keep the lines of communication open with doctors at all times. It is the best way to ensure that your child is receiving the physical, emotional and mental support that they need.
Utilize Resources to Help
There is a wealth of information and resources available to families dealing with concussions or those with children in sports that may make them more prone to concussions. One excellent resource is UPMC, the leading authority in evaluation, treatment, and research. Their Sports Medicine Concussion Program offers a comprehensive approach to concussion treatment.
UPMC provides proven treatments and evidence-based rehabilitation therapies. This individualized approach to concussion and the ability to use a multidisciplinary team to return patients to normal lives has changed the course of the injury.
No two concussions are alike. Concussions are complex injuries that may present with a variety of symptoms. The experience of concussion is different for every individual, and not all symptoms are experienced by every patient all of the time. That is why UPMC develops customized treatment programs.
While there is no way to 100% prevent concussion, there are ways that you can be prepared for it should it happen. To learn more visit, ReThinkConcussions.com.