Lots of kids are involved in sports and sometimes they suffer head injuries. But for parents, the hard part is figuring out if it’s just a bump on the head or something more serious. 7’s Alexis Rivera shows us how one local doctor is hoping to avoid Concussion Concerns.
(WSVN) — Veronica Delgado is an active 11-year-old who likes to play soccer and cheer for her school team.
Cary Delgado, Parent: “I drive Veronica to soccer, from soccer to cheerleading, or it’s dance.”
Her mom is happy her daughter enjoys sports but knows there is always a risk.
Cary Delgado, Parent: “It is a concern that she can hit her head and have a concussion.”
Dr. Alejandro Badia: “A concussion is simply a brain injury. You can think of it as a brain sprain.”
Dr. Alejandro Badia says most concussions are minor and the person recovers.
Dr. Alejandro Badia: “But the real danger is having one concussion and a week later, when you haven’t rested, having a second one.”
Until now, there hasn’t been a good way to test for a concussion because the changes can be very subtle.
Dr. Alejandro Badia: “You don’t know what the problem is unless you have a baseline.”
That’s why Dr. Badia is now offering free baseline testing to kids who play contact sports. They start with a Wii video that tests balance and coordination.
Dr. Alejandro Badia: “It’s going to show you where her center of balance is.”
Veronica stepped on a board that can detect if she is leaning more to the left or the right. If she suffers a head injury in the future, she would take this test again and doctors can compare the results.
Dr. Alejandro Badia: “Once they sustain a concussion, it’s very hard to maintain your balance.”
Even more telling is the online cognitive test.
Dr. Alejandro Badia: “It requires a quiet room and a monitor to do a series of tests that really test your concentration.”
For example, it shows you a series of words and then asks you to remember the ones on the screen. Dr. Badia recommends anyone over the age of 6, who plays contact sports, get a baseline test.
Dr. Alejandro Badia: “Because that will give you that benchmark for if you have an injury, and then you have something to compare it to.”
Veronica said she sometimes worries about getting hurt.
Veronica Delgado: “Hopefully not, but it might happen sometime.”
But she has no plans of giving up her game.
Veronica Delgado: “It helps me to be healthy, and I just like to play.”
Orthonow is offering free baseline testing through the end of the summer. But parents, you do have to make an appointment.
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