Protect Your Child’s Future By Knowing This Baseline

Child Psychology

iStock-670202670When your child experiences a fever, you’ll know when he’s recovered by taking his temperature. 98.6 degrees for 24 hours, and he’s good to go back to school or daycare. What would happen, though, if you never knew what his “normal” temperature really was? What if your child’s healthy temperature was different than anyone else’s – and those were all different from each other? Without a baseline body temperature, we would never know who should resume activities and who should stay in bed and continue recovery. 

If your child 12 years or older plays any type of sports or engages in any kind of physical activity, even just bike riding, getting a baseline “temperature” of brain functioning in case of a future concussion is vital to their healthy, complete recovery. 

Kathleen Molloy, PA-C, here at Alzein Pediatrics is now a Certified ImPACT Consultant and can administer ImPACT testing to your child, giving you a baseline evaluation of your child’s memory, attention span, and visual and verbal problem solving. The testing is similar to playing a video game and takes about a half-hour for your child to complete. 

“Offering ImPACT testing here gives us an important tool in concussion recovery assessments,” says Ms. Molloy. “In the event that your child experiences a concussion – and about 2 million children do each year – knowing your child’s baseline responses will give us an accurate and objective tool in accessing their recovery, and determining their readiness to return to normal activities.” ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is FDA-approved.

While about 60% of concussions occur during football, a large number occur in other activities. About 10% of children who play any kind of sport will suffer a concussion at some time. Concussions account for a substantial amount of baseball injuries and studies show girls are at a higher risk than boys for concussion in any physical activity. Concussions can occur during any sport, recreational activity or physical activity – whenever the head is suddenly stopped and the brain bounces or twists against the skull. This contact or sudden shifting causes chemical changes in the brain. 

Whenever your child bumps their head, call our offices, make an Urgent Care visit or get to an emergency room. Don’t wait for symptoms like dizziness, nausea or vision loss, as these may take hours to develop. Get your child seen immediately and treated for internal bleeding if necessary. 

Concussions are treated with rest, including lots of sleep and restricted reading and mental activity. When given adequate time to heal, and with confirmation of that recovery, your child can usually return to full activity within 2 to 3 weeks. It is extremely dangerous to allow your child to continue activities before she is fully recovered as she is 4-6 times more likely to sustain another concussion in this time. The effects of multiple concussions are cumulative, causing more and more brain damage when inadequate time is allowed for recovery. 

These cumulative effects can lead to CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Studies show up to 21% of high school football athletes and nearly 91% of college football athletes have evidence of CTE. CTE is devastating. Your child will experience loss of memory, have difficulty controlling impulsive, aggressive or erratic behavior, personality changes, will have impaired judgement and then an early onset of dementia.

If your child is involved in any type of physical or sporting activity, get a baseline evaluation done now. If and when your child experiences a concussion, we’ll be able to confirm complete recovery and give them an all-clear to fully participate again. Your child’s brain – and future – is worth it. 

Make an appointment to schedule your child’s ImPACT testing with Kathleen Molloy, PA-C by calling 708-424-7600 or CLICKING HERE to make an appointment online. 

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