Daniel Clearfield, DO, offers counseling on sports-related concussions

October 2, 2013

Daniel Clearfield, DO

Concussions and other sports-related brain injuries are landing more kids in hospital emergency rooms, researchers report.

Between 2002 and 2011, there was a 92 percent increase in emergency visits for sports-related traumatic brain injuries, according to a study that appears online in Pediatrics.

It’s important that every concussion be monitored, said Daniel Clearfield, DO, a certified concussion specialist and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at UNT Health Science Center. Children should wear helmets and padding during many activities and not just on the football field. Cycling, skateboarding and skating accidents also are risky.

What to watch for:

  • Headaches, vision changes, balance issues, difficulty concentrating, vomiting, slurred speech or increased confusion.
  • A child who isn’t acting like himself or is sensitive to lights and noise.
  • Drowsiness is common, and it is okay to sleep. But parents should wake a child every 2-3 hours to make sure symptoms are not worsening.
  • Concussions can occur even if someone isn’t knocked out. Pay attention if a child has symptoms even if he did not lose consciousness.
  • Avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medications in the first 48-72 hours after the injury as they can increase bleeding risks. Acetaminophen is acceptable.
  • The best treatment is rest, so no video games, texting, and/or any activity that makes symptoms worse.
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