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Tackling Concussions: Answers from the Experts

Sports can lead to concussions, and people are taking them much more seriously than in the past. A local doctor tells us how to avoid them and what to do if your child suffers a concussion.
Unfortunately a helmet isn't enough to protect against a concussion.
Contact sports can lead to injury, commonly concussions. There are signs for athletes and their familes to watch out for after taking that hit.

If your child hits their head immediately take them out of the sport or game and monitor them.

Research shows concussions happen in kids sports at almost the same rate they do in professional sports. Unfortunately a helmet isn't enough to protect against a concussion.

"The brain is the consistency of firm jello and floats inside your skull. When you have a concussion your brain impacts the inside of your skull. If you think about a helmet protecting that area it doesn't stop that movement," said Dr. Damon Lipinski from the UAMS Sports Concussion Clinic.

Doctors recommend teaching kids to hit with their shoulders, not heads, and to play fairly. Parents can also have their child's brain looked at before a concussion. Doctors can then compare scans after an injury to help patients get back to where they were. After a few injuries though, parents may have to make some tough decisions.

"If a child suffers multiple concussions then we are going to start asking questions like, 'is it appropriate for this child to be playing sports?' 'is this really safe for them in the future?'" Dr. Lipinski said.

A question some parents may have to tackle as this school year and sports season starts.
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