"Concussion Discussion" panel scheduled at Children's Hospital & Medical Center

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Children's Hospital & Medical Center along with Nebraska Medicine and the Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska are hosting a "Concussion Discussion."

The panel is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 2nd at 6:30 p.m. in the Glow Auditorium at Children's Hospital.

On the panel are specialists in sports, pediatrics and neurology. They'll be discussing the signs and symptoms of concussions, how to manage a child who has a concussion and overall prevention.

Dr. Kody Moffatt, a pediatric sports medicine specialist with Children's said sports can do wonders for kids. They help children remain physically fit, can teach social lessons like sportsmanship and teamwork. Athletes in sports are also more likely to do better in school and make better decisions when it comes to drinking, drugs and dating.

But he also recognizes the real risks that come with playing contact sports, including the risk of concussion. However, he said through proper teaching and coaching, we can minimize injury.

"The best way to prevent is fair play, following the rules and not getting young people set up in dangerous situations," he said. "It's the dangerous play or the overly aggressive play that will often get someone hurt."

He also said early recognition and detection is important. If a child sustains a concussion, it's the second hit that can cause extremely damaging effects.

Unfortunately, there's no magic test that says whether or not a child has a concussion while they're still on the field. While there are tests that can get close, Dr. Moffatt said when in doubt, sit it out.

"The real trick is making sure that their head doesn't get hit again while they're recovering," he said. "So early recognition of those symptoms is important and then trying to remove them from any activity that could cause impact later on."

The main symptoms he said to look for include headaches, dizziness, change in personality, confusion, struggling in school, sensitivity to light and noise, balance issues, trouble sleeping, among others.

He said there's a broad spectrum and concussions don't present the same in everyone.

"The good news is almost every recovers completely in three weeks as long as the head doesn't get hit again during recovery," he said. "In 90 percent of kids will get better in about three weeks or so."

If you're interested in the discussion it is free and open to the public.