Whether it’s while playing sports or just playing around, concussions can occur to anyone at any time. If you see someone suffer a concussion, you probably will have many questions.
“In the E.R., I get asked the question all the time -- ‘After we go home, can I let my child go to sleep tonight?’” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “The point is, there are certain symptoms where you have to take your child into the E.R. to be seen: If they lose consciousness, if they have continued confusion, repetitive questioning, nausea and vomiting.
It’s OK for a kid to say ‘I just played a football game, I’m tired and want to go to sleep,’ but if after the game they’re lethargic and sleepy without your typical I’m tired, I want to go to bed attitude, they have to be evaluated. You don’t want to let your child just go to sleep if they’re lethargic. Lethargic is [when], no matter what, you can’t arouse someone.”
“I’m all for letting them sleep, but go in and check on them, look at them, see if their breathing is regular,” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears adds. “If they’re definitely having a problem, if they’re slipping into a coma, their breathing is usually going to get a little bit irregular, with deep, shallow [breaths].”