The Importance of Proper Diagnosis and Recovery Time With Concussions




A private-practice pediatrician with more than three decades of relevant experience, Lloyd Takao. MD, maintains and provides care from his office in Orinda, California spanning issues such as asthma and ADHD. Emphasizing 24/7 emergency response at his patient-centered practice, Dr. Lloyd Takao provides care for issues such as concussions, which are of rising concern affecting young people in or out of sports nationwide.

With the long-term impact of repeated head injuries on cognitive and physical functioning well-documented, concussions can occur from a variety of causes, including whiplash, forceful shaking, blows, and rapid neck and head rotation. Often occurring without a loss of consciousness, traumatic brain injuries may go unrecognized on the playground or athletic field.

In cases of a suspected concussion, the first step involves evaluating symptoms and testing cognitive function. Other aspects of physical performance looked at include reaction times, balance, memory retention, and overall motor coordination. Symptoms may subside within hours or weeks, but this does not mean that it is safe to resume normal athletic activities. “Brain rest” that avoids physical exertion, homework studies, school tests, and computer monitors, will help clear many symptoms.

A standard return-to-contact protocol mandates that injured athletes are both cleared by a concussion-management-trained physician and wait at least 10 days from the date of injury before returning to the field.


Concussions in Infants and Young Children


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Lloyd Takao, MD, is a family physician in Orinda, California. He provides a hands-on approach to his patients, taking advice calls seven days a week and administering his own shots and procedures. As part of his practice, Lloyd Takao, MD, is well versed in caring for infants and young children.

A concussion is a closed head injury typically caused by a strong blow to the head, a fall, or hard shaking. When a child experiences a concussion, symptoms can vary from vision problems to loss of consciousness. Many of the effects are temporary and go away with time, but sometimes they can be more severe.

When a head injury happens–and for a few week afterwards–signs to watch for include slurred or confused speech, lethargic behavior, vision problems, balance issues, vomiting, and pupils that are unequally dilated. For infants who aren’t talking or walking yet, check the soft spots on the skull for bumps. Trouble feeding and very high-pitched cries are also indicators of a concussion.

If any of these symptoms are present or if you are worried about the seriousness of the head injury in any way, call your pediatrician as soon as possible. Should the child lose consciousness, go directly to the emergency room. If the loss of consciousness is accompanied by convulsions and/or irregular breathing, call 911 and do not move the child unless he or she is in danger of further injury.