Earlier this month the Centers for Disease Control released new guidelines for treating children with concussions.
The guidelines are based on two decades of scientific research — improving the ability to detect and diagnose mild cases in children.
According to the CDC, more than 800,000 children seek treatment for traumatic brain injuries every year.
The CDC guidelines include 19 sets of recommendations.
Including; advising against CT scans, MRI scan as well as x-rays for the purpose of diagnosing a concussion.
“It’s going to be in sports that have high impact; like football or skateboarding when kids aren’t wearing helmets,” said Dr. Ryan Meis, CNOS Orthopedic Surgeon.
One test doctors in Siouxland are utilizing is called “impact testing.”
“They get on a computer and kind of judge how quickly they respond to certain activities,” said Dr. Meis, “And it basically gives them a baseline that says: this is about how you function and then after an injury, they’ll go back and take it again and typically they’re going to be lower. And we watch that day by day as it gets better and better and better as the brain recovers. And after it gets to a certain level you can go back and start to begin the process to get back on the field.”
Dr. Meis says the best way to treat concussions is with brain and body rest.
“The most important thing is we don’t want to have a second impact to that head while the brain is still trying to recover,” said Dr. Meis, “So treatment is basically brain rest, we want you to sleep a good amount, we don’t want you in athletics, we don’t want you to be stimulated overly and most importantly avoiding a second injury in athletics until we have.”
The most common symptoms associated with concussions is a headache, blurred vision, ringing in the ears and confusion.
Dr. Meis says if your symptoms worsen or you notice clear fluid coming from your ears that could be a sign of a skull fracture and should get to the emergency room right away.