Sports Safety: Concussions and Kids

Deepak Patel, M.D. Guest Blogger: Family and Sports Medicine Physician

Deepak Patel, M.D.
Guest Blogger: Family and Sports Medicine Physician

Summer sports season is in full swing for many young athletes.  With sports, also comes injuries – scrapes, cuts, bumps and bruises are common.  Sometimes after a fall or bump, injuries are not visible to parents and coaches.  One such injury is a concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that changes the way the brain works.  It can be caused by a bump or blow to head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.  Symptoms can be immediate or may even take days or weeks to appear.

A child’s concussion symptoms observed by parents include:
· Appears dazed or stunned
· Confused about assignment or position
· Forgets an instruction
· Moves clumsily
· Answers questions slowly
· Loses consciousness (even briefly)
· Shows personality or behavioral changes

Children may describe their symptoms the following way:
· Headaches or the feeling of pressure in the head
· Nausea or vomiting
· Balance problems or dizziness
· Double or blurry vision
· Sensitivity to light
· Sensitivity to noise
· Confusion
· Feeling sluggish, foggy or just “not right”

At Rush-Copley, we offer baseline concussion testing for athletes 10 and older. In the off season (prior to any contact activity), an athlete takes a 30 minute baseline computer test which tracks neurocognitive function such as verbal and visual memory, attention span, brain processing speed, and reaction time.  Later, if a concussion is suspected during the playing season, a follow-up test is administered to compare the results between the new test and the baseline.  This comparison along with a detailed evaluation helps to diagnose and manage the concussion. Follow-up tests can be administered over days or weeks so the doctor can continue to track the athlete’s recovery from the injury. This screening can help answer difficult questions about an athlete’s readiness to return to play, protecting them from the potentially serious consequences of returning too soon.

Concussion testing can be scheduled alone or as an addition to a sports physical for $25. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, visit or call 630-236-4270.

Have a fun and safe summer sports season!


Eczema 101: Do You Have the Itch?

Eczema is a general term used to describe an inflammation of the skin with can cause itching, oozing, weeping, crusting or scaling. Even though there are several different kinds of eczema, in a pediatrician’s office, you will often hear the terms “eczema” and “atopic dermatitis” used interchangeably. The symptoms of eczema are caused by a […]

Continue Reading.
Kyla Ababio, M.D.

Kyla Ababio, M.D.

Any parents of toddlers know that it is one of the most challenging phases of childhood. Your once non-verbal precious peanut who just wanted to be held, rocked and fed, now seems to only want to scream “I can do it by myself”, or “NO”, or “That’s mine!” and “Don’t tell me what to do!” That is their way of asserting control and declaring independence. During this phase they must also master control over their body functions including toilet-training, self-feeding, delayed gratification, language development, coping with frustration and social skills. Parenting is most challenging and rewarding when toddlerhood is done well. Here’s how to help your child with her tantrums from an article that I read in Parents magazine:toddler mischief

1. Be genuinely empathic to your toddler’s struggle. She needs your support. If she feels you’re flustered, disorganized, angry, or critical you will only escalate her rage and not be able to help her calm down. Your objective is to teach her how to settle herself.

2. Learn to talk reflectively with empathy in the moment of a conflict. You might say, “Mary (use her first name since pronouns are not mastered until age 4) wanted more video and Mommy said it’s bath time. Mary got mad. It’s hard to stop when you want more.”

3. Physically, walk your screaming child to her next destination, ie: to the bath to help her settle and calm down there. Children will escalate their yelling and protest, thinking you might change your no to a yes. If you are away from the location of the desired object your child will calm down faster.

4. If your child is out of control or has been aggressive (hitting, biting, scratching, or pinching), hold your child in your lap facing away from you to help calm your child. The holding provides a safe container so you can act as a receptacle for your child’s rage. Your child learns that she can be super angry and you do not attack, criticize, blame, or collapse as the target for their rage. Tell your child that when she stops pulling on you, you will let go. The moment her muscles relax, release her and praise her for learning to settle herself. You will not have to hold her too many times before you see a decrease in the frequency and intensity of her oppositional tantrums.

5. Do not lecture your child. Kids hate to be told what to do. Rather, after a tantrum talk gently with your child about what she wanted and was feeling. Together come up with alternative ways she can get what she wants without a meltdown. Always accept your child where she is. We are all on a learning curve. No one is perfect. We all want the same thing – to be acknowledged, validated, and accepted – flaws and all.

Just remember that this is just a phase and it too shall pass!

Pluggin’ Away

Binky, paci, pluggie, nuk, dummy…no matter what you call it, there has been some controversy over using pacifiers. Probably the major concerns are nipple confusion for breastfed babies and dental issues in the future. Let’s face it – babies love to suck. It is their primary way of getting food in the first 4 to 6 […]

Continue Reading.

Measles is Here

It is 12:31 a.m. I just finished nursing my son and I can’t turn my racing mind off. All I can think about are the families who tonight are “nursing” their children who have contracted measles. I can’t imagine the fear and sadness they are feeling as their child battles this preventable illness. I’m thinking […]

Continue Reading.