All parents must be alert for concussions, doctor says

Thursday, August 25, 2016
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If you thought concussions only happened for student athletes, think again, a neuropsychologist says.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- As your kids begin to settle in to their back to school routine, a warning to parents about concussions.

On the field, one powerful hit "results in metabolic changes, chemical changes," and can change your kid forever, without you even knowing it, according to a Houston sports neuropsychologist.

But if you think it can only happen if your student is an athlete, think again.

Dr. Summer Ott works for Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute, and says she's studied concussions among kids for years.

She showed us the MRI of a patient who had several concussions, and the effects to the brain.

Dr. Ott says more concussions are actually happening off the field, and that parents need to be alert even if your kids don't play sports.

What about helmets?

"At the end of the day, if there's enough force, if your brain moves inside your skull like an egg yolk inside an egg, it can cause different changes to occur," Ott says.

Students who do get hurt need help fast. Look for sudden changes in behavior or mood, along with headaches, dizziness or even loss of consciousness.

"if it goes over looked, it can certainly affect school performance, mood starts to change in kids," Ott says. "It's really important to identify quickly."

When selecting a sports program, make sure you also understand the school's concussion police.

There is a state law called Natasha's Law that outlines what coaches must do if a student sustains a concussion.

You can read more about that law here.