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Experts tackle the topic of paediatric concussion

Monday, 13 November 2023

A Barwon Health webinar will connect specialists from McKellar Kids Rehab with parents, coaches and teachers to discuss the topic of paediatric concussion.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that temporarily alters the way the brain functions.

Signs and symptoms of concussion can include loss of consciousness after trauma to the head, confusion, headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, loss of short-term memory and saying the same thing repetitively.

Last year, the McKellar Kids Rehab in North Geelong treated up to 60 young people suffering from persistent post-concussion symptoms.

Host of the webinar and clinical neuropsychologist Dr Therese Clark said the majority of their clients experienced a concussion as the result of a fall.

“The most common causes of paediatric concussion are a fall from play equipment or tripping over and banging their head, followed by head trauma suffered while playing contact sport,” Dr Clark said.

“Our multi-disciplinary team consisting of a paediatrician, speech therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist and neuropsychologist support our clients and their family to manage symptoms by providing psycho-education which is designed to help manage fatigue.

“We support clients on average for between two to three months, with an overall goal of supporting them to return to normal activities such as school and sport.”

Dr Clark explained that early intervention and treatment for concussion can relieve and sometimes reverse symptoms which may otherwise lead to persistent post-concussion symptoms.

“It’s often the case that we receive a referral around six weeks after a concussion has occurred due to the young person experiencing significant ongoing symptoms,” Dr Clark said.

 “It’s important we work in partnership with GPs to treat concussion, while also educating carers of young people about concussion signs and symptoms, treatments available and when to seek help.”

The free paediatric concussion webinar is on Tuesday 14 November at 11am to 12 noon. Registrations are via Zoom:  

Barwon Health’s McKellar Kids Rehab is a publicly-funded specialist paediatric rehabilitation service and is part of a state-wide network of rehabilitation providers, including the Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital.