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Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome.

 

   


Rodred

Mar 20, 12 8:11

Post #1 of 14 (5794 views)
Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. Quote | Reply

 I havent mentioned it here but back in January my daughter (16) smashed her head into a cement floor while playing indoor soccer and sustained a concussion/bleeding on the brain. She was rushed to a local Childrens Hosptial for more tests and observation. She has since had follow up appointments and has been released to do physical activity at her own pace. She is still getting headaches and is not back into soccer other than just joining in foot skills where she has little risk of bumping her head. She can run a little and goes to Zumba class with her mother but can't finish because the headaches return after a certain amount of activity.

She is supposed to be going to Cedar Point in May and she told me the other day that her mom said she wasn't going because of her concussion. I just spoke to her mom and said I think she may be overreacting since its two months away and that if there is any doubt we could talk to her neurosurgeon again and ask his opinion. Looking on the internet it seems there have been studies on the effects of G forces/roller coasters and if they can cause TBI and it seems to not be the case. My concern would be if she smacked her head because of the G's.

I have no problem backing up my ex's decision or fighting it based on what is safe for my child so I am looking for some opinions from those in the know. What I am dealing with here is an ex who sat and listened to how serious this injury was, and had been given specific directions by the surgeon. and then a week later asked me if I thought it was okay if my daughter ( who was out of school and excused from taking exams for two more weeks because of the concussion) went to Zumba class. I naturally asked her if she was really that stupid and told my daughter under no circumstances was she to go. ( Once again we are back to the fact that I was lured in by my ex's hot little ass and good looks because it sure as hell wasn't her brain power that attracted me so may years ago)

I am not looking for someone to back up my decision that we should play wait and see and not jump to conclusions. I am looking for educated opinions and I have no trouble telling my daughter she can't go to the park.


I will say this about the current outlook on concussions. The doctors don't play and they take it much more serious than when I had one back in my teens.


~
"You lie!" The Prophet Joe Wilson


NormM

Mar 20, 12 8:30

Post #2 of 14 (5774 views)
Re: Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. [Rodred] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I don't know when she has to commit by but I would definitely get the medical opinion...... I think what could be more problematic is that some of the rides shake you side to side pretty vigorously.


Jodi

Mar 20, 12 8:36

Post #3 of 14 (5768 views)
Re: Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. [Rodred] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

If it were my patient I would recommend no roller coasters until 4-6 weeks after symptoms resolve. I would probably lump that in with skiing, cycling, roller blading, boxing, all the other high risk things you should avoid after head injury. Did she have a skull fracture?

Jodi


j p o

Mar 20, 12 8:40

Post #4 of 14 (5764 views)
Re: Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. [Rodred] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Why would this decision have to be made now? Just mom overreacting? Can't remember where you are, is CP a long trip or just a drive?

I can understand her fear though, she may have kind of blown it off when it first happened but then to see her still suffering symptoms two months later would be a little scary even for me (and I don't like kids :) ).

I'd definitely run it by her doc, they have finally figured out that adolescent concussions are a big deal and nothing to mess with.

If she does go, tell her to avoid the Mean Streak, my family has camped the night before and after we go for several years, and the campground is in back so you can go in and ride that thing several times in a row. After the first year I knew to not do that as you feel like crap the whole day since it beats you up so much it leaves you with a headache the rest of the day.


fishgo

Mar 20, 12 8:45

Post #5 of 14 (5758 views)
Re: Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. [Rodred] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

From my personal experience with concussions and roller coasters -- not a good idea so soon. 12-15 months after the concussion -- it can take the brain that long to regain full functionality and durability, and if you experience another concussion the 2nd can be REALLY bad. And you can be more likely to get a 2nd so soon after the first.

I made this mistake after getting a bad concussion when I got hit by a pickup while biking -- and went to a coaster park 4-5 months later. It isn't the G-forces pulling you, but the head slamming around and into the headrests as these rides are never smooth. It is the bumping around that did me in. And what were supposed to be more "gentle" rides still slam your head around a bit. The concussion symptioms came on after just a couple of rides and my realization of it occured shortly thereafter. Blurry vision, nausea, etc. Not fun, and I became the grandma sitting out and on a bench the remainder of the day.

If you think your daughter can go to Cedar and have the self-restraint to NOT go on the more aggressive rides, then great. But it might be tough to let her go and have the discipline to sit out the rides when her friends are going.

My N=1 perspective. It wasn't a pleasant experience.


Rodred

Mar 20, 12 8:55

Post #6 of 14 (5750 views)
Re: Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. [Jodi] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Jodi wrote:
If it were my patient I would recommend no roller coasters until 4-6 weeks after symptoms resolve. I would probably lump that in with skiing, cycling, roller blading, boxing, all the other high risk things you should avoid after head injury. Did she have a skull fracture?

Jodi

Her skull did not fracture, which I still cant believe given the nature of the fall, but she did have an intracranial hemorrhage on her back left side. She also had memory loss to the point that she couldn't remember anything that happened that day or talking to me on the phone when she was initially taken to the emergency room.


~
"You lie!" The Prophet Joe Wilson


Rodred

Mar 20, 12 9:02

Post #7 of 14 (5743 views)
Re: Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. [j p o] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

j p o wrote:
Why would this decision have to be made now? Just mom overreacting? Can't remember where you are, is CP a long trip or just a drive?

I can understand her fear though, she may have kind of blown it off when it first happened but then to see her still suffering symptoms two months later would be a little scary even for me (and I don't like kids :) ).

I'd definitely run it by her doc, they have finally figured out that adolescent concussions are a big deal and nothing to mess with.

If she does go, tell her to avoid the Mean Streak, my family has camped the night before and after we go for several years, and the campground is in back so you can go in and ride that thing several times in a row. After the first year I knew to not do that as you feel like crap the whole day since it beats you up so much it leaves you with a headache the rest of the day.

The trip has to be paid for now and its nonrefundable. The money isnt the issue but opening up a spot for another kid was the main issue as space is limited. CP is about 1.5 hours away from her.

I really thought her symptoms would be better than they are by now too but it's different with every person. It seems like its been longer than it has and I know it took me a few months to be 100% and my injury wasnt as bad as hers.

Basically what happened was she was running down the indoor field when someone tried to steal the ball. As their feet tangled her one foot went over the ball it acted like a pivot point and she went from standing to past horizontal with her head taking 100% of the initial impact. She passed out briefly. It happened so quickly she couldnt get a hand down or turn to lessen the impact. I still can't believe she didnt fracture her skull.


~
"You lie!" The Prophet Joe Wilson


Rodred

Mar 20, 12 9:06

Post #8 of 14 (5735 views)
Re: Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. [fishgo] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

fishgo wrote:
From my personal experience with concussions and roller coasters -- not a good idea so soon. 12-15 months after the concussion -- it can take the brain that long to regain full functionality and durability, and if you experience another concussion the 2nd can be REALLY bad. And you can be more likely to get a 2nd so soon after the first.

I made this mistake after getting a bad concussion when I got hit by a pickup while biking -- and went to a coaster park 4-5 months later. It isn't the G-forces pulling you, but the head slamming around and into the headrests as these rides are never smooth. It is the bumping around that did me in. And what were supposed to be more "gentle" rides still slam your head around a bit. The concussion symptioms came on after just a couple of rides and my realization of it occured shortly thereafter. Blurry vision, nausea, etc. Not fun, and I became the grandma sitting out and on a bench the remainder of the day.

If you think your daughter can go to Cedar and have the self-restraint to NOT go on the more aggressive rides, then great. But it might be tough to let her go and have the discipline to sit out the rides when her friends are going.

My N=1 perspective. It wasn't a pleasant experience.

That is my concern. I am not 100% that she would have the restraint because God knows I didn't at that age.

A girl that she plays soccer against from another school had a concussion recently and after a few weeks back in school she bumped her head and now is out for no less than 8 months. The team has already bought my daughter a head gear to wear out of fear of her getting re injured too soon but she is still not actually playing and wont be for some time.


~
"You lie!" The Prophet Joe Wilson


fishgo

Mar 20, 12 9:10

Post #9 of 14 (5728 views)
Re: Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. [Rodred] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Given the severity of this injury I'd put her on a year-long restriction, and explain why. I have a friend who received a second concussion as a 17 year old who, now in her 40's, occasionally wakes up next to her husband and wonders who he is. Top of her class in law school, too, so a smartie.


Sshoreli

Mar 20, 12 9:38

Post #10 of 14 (5714 views)
Re: Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. [Rodred] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Back in 2000 I fractured my skull (and broke my collarbone) while skiing. Was heli-lifted off the mountain semi-consious with blood dripping out of my ears (or so I am told). I don't remember much of the week following it, but I was release from the hospital after only one night and was back at my desk 4 days later. I never really suffered from the post concussion effects (like head aches and sensitivity to light), aside from being totally out of and sleeping a ton for a week or so. I was cleared by the neuro relatively quickly, but had to wait to fully resume activities until the collarbone healed. But was definately mountain biking within 6 weeks of the accident and ran a half marthon about 8 - 10 weeks later. Don't know the time gap between the accident and my next roller coaster ride, but I have been on plenty since then with no ill effects.

Now speaking as a Dad, there is no way my daughter is sitting on a roller coaster if she is still experiencing post concussion symptoms (look at how long it is taking Syndey Crosby to come back). Those pads they put next to your head to stop it from violently moving left and right and give a good knock to the dome under the right circumstances. Regardless of what the medical evidence says, if she still is having headaches, she isn't riding the coasters....of course that doesn't necessarilty mean she couldn't go on the trip. I'd consider letting her go if there was an agreement she isn't to ride. Whether you could trust her to stick to that agreement is another story.


Rodred

Mar 20, 12 12:57

Post #11 of 14 (5665 views)
Re: Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. [Rodred] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Thanks to everyone who offered info.


~
"You lie!" The Prophet Joe Wilson


OneGoodLeg

Mar 20, 12 14:03

Post #12 of 14 (5647 views)
Re: Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. [Rodred] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

My wife got her bell rung on the X2 coaster at Magic Mountain when we went to visit my grandma down in SoCal a few summers ago... I think because she's short, the chest bar that swings down over your shoulders was further up towards her ears and the back & forth whipping action of the ride bounced her head in between the 2 arms of the restraint (of course they're padded, but it's pretty thin/dense otherwise the whole restraint would end up being way too bulky). She even drew a little blood from the back of her earring being punched into the side of her head. For me, being a foot taller, my head pretty much cleared the bars so there wasn't any thumping from rocking side to side, except maybe at the neck. While there's some vertical adjustment as the restraint mounts to the chair back which can ratchet up or down, the bar itself is only one shape/size for every seat on the ride so the angle/proportions didn't sit as well on her.

She felt dizzy and nauseous the rest of the day... tried to go on a few more rides to tough it out, figuring it would "shake off" after awhile if it were at all related to motion sickness (which we kinda doubted in the first place being that she normally digs the gnarliest rides), but ended up bagging most of the remainder of the afternoon/evening.

Just based on that and your daughter still having any leftover symptoms at all, I'd say that's a firm No Go.


fred_h

Mar 20, 12 18:03

Post #13 of 14 (5596 views)
Re: Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. [Sshoreli] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

[ Now speaking as a Dad, there is no way my daughter is sitting on a roller coaster if she is still experiencing post concussion symptoms (look at how long it is taking Syndey Crosby to come back)]
I could not agree more (and actually was only thinking about Crosby).


Fred.


Rodred

Mar 20, 12 18:23

Post #14 of 14 (5591 views)
Re: Concussions and roller coasters. Medical types welcome. [fred_h] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

it's funny that Crosbly was mentioned because I live close to Pittsburgh and it was one of the first things I thought of as the neurologist was initially lecturing her about how seriousness of her fall and injury.


~
"You lie!" The Prophet Joe Wilson

   
 
 
 



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