Head Injuries among Children are Common in High-Impact Sports
20 November 2013
I knew gymnastics was not going to be easy when I decided to start training at my school when I was seven, but, as it turned out, gymnastics can also be painful. Falling is a part of our training every day, but, fortunately, we fall on soft mats when a routine goes wrong, and I rarely feel any pain. Falling on the head is a different story, and I experienced it a few days ago when I fell off the high bar onto the mat, which resulted in a head injury. I did not lose consciousness, but everything seemed very blurry around me, and I couldn't even hear what my coach was saying. My mom started to panic as soon as she arrived at the gym, and she decided that I need to be checked by a doctor specialized in urgent care at the AfterOurs walk in clinic in Denver, Colorado. They also have walk in clinics in Highlands Ranch and Thornton, CO, and Robbinsville, NJ. I don’t even remember the fall clearly, and everything that happened afterwards seems like in a fog. When I finally regained my senses and had full control over my body, I was at the urgent care clinic, and I was being examined by a doctor who was asking my mom and my coach about the incident. Soon, he realized that I was alert and active enough to be able to answer his questions properly, so he gently asked me about how I felt and what was bothering me.
The Doctors Decided That the Head Injury was Mild Based on X-rays
The doctor tried to guide me through my symptoms, because I wasn't able to talk about them clearly. I felt confusion, a headache that was not very intense but still unpleasant and bothersome, and weakness in my body. The immediate concern of my doctor was to perform X-rays to make sure that I had no bleeding inside the skull, and the major brain and neck structures are normal. X-rays revealed no signs of bleeding in my brain, and based on the examination of my movement abilities, eye coordination, skin reflexes and a few other medical physical tests, the doctor concluded that I had a mild traumatic brain injury, which is also known as a concussion. There were no signs of brain damage or bone abnormalities. Also, based on my responses, he concluded that I was alert and my mental skills were not damaged. Mom was relieved when she heard the diagnosis because she already imagined the worst in her anxious mind. During the conversation between the doctor and my mother, I found out that head injuries are common traumas in children who practice high-impact sports, such as football, gymnastics, hockey or basketball. I should have chosen swimming, and perhaps I would have been completely safe now.
Treatment of Mild Head Injuries Consists in Enough Rest, a Healthy Nutrition and Careful Medical Supervision
Even though the doctor said that complications were unlikely because there were no signs of brain damage or mental impairment, he recommended another evaluation in about two weeks to make sure that my recovery is not associated with any unexpected complications. He also recommended enough rest, a week off from school, and a healthier diet rich in vitamins to help with my healing. I was surprised to find out that no medications were needed because my brain has the natural ability to heal itself if the head injury is mild. Still, a doctor’s appointment was required to make sure that no severe brain damage occurred after my head injury.