If you suspect your child is, the most important thing you can do is to get him or her evaluated by a medical professional soon after the injury. Once your child has been, it is important to let him or her sleep, as rest encourages healing of the brain. Why is rest important for concussion recovery? The key in the first 24 hours after diagnosis is monitoring for abnormal symptoms, such as complete disorientation or significant changes in speech. If youБre not seeing any signs of severe symptoms, then the next step in
is symptom management Б this is where rest comes in. БRecovery from a concussion often takes time,Б says. , Director of Pediatric Sports Medicine at ChildrenБs HealthБ. БDuring that period, the brain really needs to have the opportunity to reestablish its health. If an athlete sustains a concussion, it is important they rest for the first two to three days. Б Sleeping, in fact, encourages healing of the brain. БWhen you sleep, you restore glucose and your body uses that glucose for energy,Б explains Scott Burkhart, Psy. D. , Neuropsychologist and Concussion Expert at ChildrenБs Health Andrews Institute. БThe brain is actually using glucose from sleep from a healing standpoint. Sleep is critical and is one of the best things you can give an athlete.
Б Do I need to wake up my child periodically throughout the night? A common myth is that you should wake up your child every hour, but this will only leave both you and your child tired. In fact, waking up your child throughout the night could actually be detrimental to recovery. БTheyБre likely going to be more tired and fatigued than they typically are,Б says at ChildrenБs Health Andrews Institute. БIf they want to go to bed, then let them go to sleep. ThereБs no reason to wake them up from sleep every hour or two like they used to say. If, for some reason, you feel like they need to be woken up from sleep because there is something else going on, then an ER doctor would tell you that. Б If you are worried about your child falling asleep after a head injury, it is best to have him or her checked out by your pediatrician or an ER physician as soon as possible. A medical professional can make sure everything is okay and can give sleep a green light. Watch our to learn more about detecting, preventing and treating concussions. The only pediatric institute of its kind in Texas, the ChildrenБs Health Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine aims at reducing the number of children being sidelined from injury.
Stay current on the health insights that make a difference to your children. Sign up for the and have more tips sent directly to your inbox. by I know youБve seen it on television or in a movie. A good guy or gal gets a lick on the head. TheyБre groggy. Their partner holds them in their arms, maybe slaps them. БStay with me,Б they plead. БDonБt go to sleep. Б The same goes really for any injury. But in real life, if the injury is bad enough to make a person pass out or die, they willБfrom the injury. In itself, the act of keeping them awake does nothing. ItБs a common question in my office as well. If a concussion victim is well enough to send home, whoever brings them in almost always asks, БWhen can I let them sleep? Б The answer? As soon as they want to. While itБs true that brain damage may make you groggy, sleepy, even comatose, and those symptoms can indicate the traumaБs severity, the act of going to sleep after a head injury is not going to cause any damage. So going to sleep isnБt a problem. However, not being able to wake up can be a sign of severe damage already done. In fact, going to sleep after a concussion (or really any trauma) is a pretty natural thing to do, especially in kids who have been crying and upset.
TheyБve been through a lot. After they settle down, they sleep. And sleep after a concussion can be healing. Of course, the person should be initially checked by a doctor if possible. But until they are, or after they are, let them sleep. Just, maybe for the first few hours, wake them up every hour or two, and ask them where they are, who you are, who they are, or any similar questions to make sure theyБre not becoming less oriented. The time interval and the length of time you need to do this will vary according to the severity of the individualБs symptoms and doctorБs orders. But, if theyБre particularly hard to wake up, getting disoriented, or have any sign that worries you theyБre getting worse, this a sign the damage is getting worse. You should contact or get them to a health-care professional immediately if at all possible. ( before any of thisБright after the injury. ) If you want to get more detailed, you can use the, but the bottom line in the field, out of a hospital setting, is you want to keep an eye on how alert and how oriented they are. If this is getting worse, itБs very likely their brain damage is also. What about you? WhatБs been your experience with sleep after a concussion? Photo: Flickr/mrwilleeumm.