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posted: 12/3/2012 5:17 AM

Simple tests parents can do

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There is no surefire test that parents can use to determine whether their child needs to see a medical professional for a possible traumatic brain injury, but parents should be observant and ask their child about how he or she is feeling. Is there a headache? Are the headaches getting worse? Is it hard to concentrate? Does homework cause a headache?

A simple test:

A. What was the score of the last game?

B. What team were you playing?

C. What color jerseys was the other team wearing?

D. Name four unrelated words and ask your child to repeat them. Wait 2 minutes and ask them to repeat them again.

E. Name six digits and ask your child to repeat them. Then ask your child to repeat the digits backward.

Suggestions to make sports safer for children:

A. No tackle football before age 14.

B. No body checking in hockey before age 14.

C. Require helmets in field hockey and girls' lacrosse.

D. No heading in soccer until age 14.

E. Require chin straps for baseball helmets and eliminate head-first sliding.

F. Hold game officials to a higher standard. Keeping players as safe as possible should be the No. 1 priority. Source: "Concussions and Our Kids" by Dr. Robert Cantu

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