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Neurosurgeon Gives Parents a Head's Up on Concussions

Dr. Farzad Massoudi discusses how to diagnose and manage head injuries.

Playing sports is a big part of childhood for many kids, but a doctor from Newport Beach says parents and educators need to be aware of the dangers of concussions.

Dr. Farzad Massoudi, founder and CEO of Eastbluff Medical Center and chief of staff at Mission Hospital, spoke to a group of Newport Beach parents Thursday night at Harbor Day School about the effects of concussions and how to spot symptoms.

"As long as we have contact sports, concussions are here to stay," Massoudi said. "And there is no present technology that will guard against concussions."

Children who play football, ice hockey and lacrosse, as well as those who are wrestlers and cheerleaders, are all prone to mild brain injuries like concussions. Although the spotlight typically lands on the dangers of football, Massoudi says, parents should know "heading a ball in soccer is a major factor for concussions."

When a child has a concussion, he or she will likely experience headaches, fatigue, insomnia, irritability and memory loss. The injury is also a leading cause of pediatric emergency room visits and should be taken very seriously.

One parent said his son got a concussion from indoor laser tag, and his symptoms have lasted more than 100 days.

"It takes longer than you think for a child to recover from a concussion," Massoudi said. "Rest and frequent naps are the most effective antidote."

Because many children will continue to play sports after a concussion, Massoudi encourages parents to talk to coaches and educators about their concussion knowledge and management plan.

Remember:

  • There is no cure for a concussion.
  • A loss of consciousness is not required for an injury to be diagnosed as a concussion.
  • A negative CT scan or MRI does not mean a concussion did not occur.
  • On average, it takes about seven to 10 days for a child to recover from a concussion.
  • Helmets are designed to protect children from skull fractures, not concussions.

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