By Anita Tedaldi: CNJ columnist
A few days ago, my oldest daughter, who is eight years old, fell while playing on our living room and smacked her head on the carpeted floor. She was playing some sort of Barbie acrobat game with her sisters and hit the back of her head. Aside from yelling “ouch!” she bounced right back up and wanted to get back to play — her role was show organizer and she was needed with some urgency.
I, being a party pooper, forced her to sit down and endure my infamous checklist. I call it infamous because I always have my kids go through the test whenever they hit their heads. I lost a dear friend when I was a young girl after he hit his head in school and appeared to be fine, only to slip into a coma and eventually death a few days later.
So I checked for a bump, had her follow a pen with her eyes, up, down, left, and right, asked her to balance on her foot and tell me her name and telephone number. When she asked which phone number I wanted to hear, the current one or the one from our last move, I knew she was her fine little military brat self.
This is a particularly good month to learn about head injuries – in fact, March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has been working to bring attention to brain injuries, preventative behaviors, and changes in the public’s attitude toward those who are affected by a brain injury.
The Brain Injury Association of America explains that it’s not easy to recognize the severity of a concussion (a blow or jolt to the head) and that most of these concussions don’t involve a loss of consciousness.