6 Busted Myths About Concussions

man holding head from concussion

How often do you find yourself searching on the Internet for medical information? A lot? You’re not alone, as witnessed by the rise of such sites as Web MD that seem to have all the answers to every medical problem. And, even if most of the information is reliable, a lot goes unsaid and is misinterpreted.

Back in the day before the age of the Internet, more information came through hearsay from your neighbor or the other parents on the sports team. Yet, you still had to talk to a professional before you took any action. That’s not so much the case anymore as people continue to trust what they see on the Internet despite the source. The bottom line is that the Internet has no shortage of information. Yet, much of that information is inaccurate and most people do not do their due diligence in sifting through the noise to find the truth. This is why we multiple “myth-busting” articles to break the chain of misinformation.

The Internet is full of concussion myths, believed and spread by good-willing people who only want to help. But, here are some of those myths busted that you can share at your kid’s next game.

Myth #1: You can’t let someone sleep after a concussion.

Familiar with the instruction to wake your child up every 20 minutes to ensure consciousness? Well, you can now rest easy knowing that that’s completely unnecessary. This piece of advice has been circulating among parents and the Internet for decades. It used to be good advice – before life-threatening brain bleeds could be detected by CT scans. Now, doctors recommend getting a good night’s sleep if you’ve sustained a concussion. Unless, of course, there is a brain bleed in which case your doctors will take care of you.

The reality is, however, that less than 0.1% of concussions result in brain bleeds that are not even serious enough to head to urgent care. Although, we always recommend seeing a doctor if you’re unsure and worried.

Myth #2: You should spend your days resting.

This might seem counter-intuitive, but resting after a concussion is not the best medicine. New research proves that physical activity helps children and adults recover from a concussion quicker. Though, you shouldn’t head right back into a football game after a blow to the head. When in doubt, sit it out. However, it also doesn’t mean being bedridden. Take it easy if needed and listen to your body.

Myth #4: You only get a concussion if you’ve been knocked out.

This is a popular myth; yet, it’s completely false. Unconsciousness is just one sign that someone has sustained a concussion. Usually, this is a pretty serious sign that warrants a trip to the urgent care or ER. However, you don’t have to be knocked out to have had a concussion. You don’t even necessarily have to have been hit in the head. Whiplash can cause a minor concussion. To tell if your child has had a concussion, you need to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms. Such symptoms include difficulty balancing and walking, headache complaints, nausea or vomiting, and others.

Myth #5: Only athletes in high-contact sports are at risk.

Granted, high-contact sports like football and hockey put you at a higher risk of getting a concussion. However, it doesn’t mean everyone else who doesn’t play those sports is off the hook. Concussions can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. Getting in a car accident, falling down the stairs, tripping on the playground, and even swimming can present the same danger of a concussion.

Myth #6: You don’t have a concussion if you don’t have any symptoms.

This seems logical to believe, yet it’s dangerously not true. Concussion symptoms can oftentimes present themselves hours after the initial event, sometimes even a couple of days later. Moreover, some symptoms may be so hard to spot that they seem non-existent. Yet, even the slightest headache could be a sign of a concussion. Again, if you think your athlete has had a concussion, it’s best to just sit out the game.

Concussion Myths

The misconceptions about concussions make them evermore dangerous. Continuous research proves the long-lasting impact of concussions, especially concussions left untreated. Even if you think it’s minor, it’s always best to air on the side of caution.