Sports injuries: Valley doctor explains concussion signs parents should look for

PHOENIX - From the playground to the volleyball court and football and soccer fields, concussions can happen anywhere.

"I've seen them happen in many different circumstances. Concussions don't just happen on the ball field. They don't discriminate," said Dr. David Curran, chairman of Pediatric Medicine at Cardon Children's Medical Center.

Following the death of a Hopi High School football player in Arizona, we're taking action by arming you with information to keep your children safe.

Curran said the key to recognizing a concussion or brain injury starts with parents.

"They are on the front lines. Parents are the most important. Think about it: a coach has to watch an entire team, but a parent can keep an eye on their child, but it's more than that. It's at home. That's important as well," said Curran.

The Mesa pediatrician said parents need to start by asking questions if they are concerned about their child.

Ask yourself, what do you notice about the child?

"Is their demeanor different, do they not want to eat, do they want to throw up and do the not remember practice?" said Curran.

The pediatrician also recommends giving your child a quiz. Ask them what they had for lunch, what happened after practice, what else happened during the day.

Curran said time-related events from that day are the most important questions.

As for physical signs, Curran said to be on the lookout for:

--Headaches

--Vomiting

--Glassy eyes

--Confusion

--Irritability

--Unable to complete a sentence

Curran said those who have suffered a concussion are more susceptible to experience a second one.

"Those children need to be symptom-free and need to be symptom-free for nearly a week before we allow them to go back. It's the second blow we're most concerned about," said Curran.

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