They are more common than we realize. 😦
GymCastic interviewed former gymnast Caroline Just, a Neurology resident, on best practices for coaches, parents and teammates:
ANY head injury during practice or a meet should be investigated with a concussion checklist, because if you keep going without it, the second concussion could make things much worse. Print out a checklist and put it on the wall of the gym or download the Heads Up App
Take Tylenol not aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Naproxen or Aleve.
Most concussions resolve within two weeks, but if you don’t go through the appropriate steps, waiting to be symptom-free for 24 hours before you advance stages, you risk not healing properly, which increases risk of long-term neurocognitive symptoms
Go see a doctor if you are worried! It’s pretty unlikely that the doctor will tell you to quit, or to take a long break.
Doctors are required, in most states and provinces, to inform authorities if the welfare of a child is in danger, including by coaches. If you think a coach is negligent – don’t be silent. Get parents involved, get head coaches involved, get athletic directors involved. The right people will take this very seriously.
Gymnasts are tough. They are used to focusing on the goal and working through the pain. However, sometimes the toughest thing is to do what is right for your health, or your friend’s health. It’s better to miss the meet than miss the season, or miss out on your life.
Caroline Just recommended we download a free app – Heads Up. I’ll be checking it out.