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Dr. Robert Cantu talks Concussions

Dr. Robert Cantu, Photo Credit: News Hour

Dr. Robert Cantu, credit News Hour

Dr. Robert Cantu is one of the world’s foremost authorities on brain trauma and concussions in sports. He will speak at our second annual Concussion Summit on Friday, Feb. 27. Dr. Cantu is the author of “Concussions and Our Kids – America’s Leading Expert on How to Protect Young Athletes and Keep Sports Safe.” He is also Senior Advisor to the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee, Co- Founder and Medical Director of the Sports Legacy (SLI) Institute in Waltham, MA; Medical and Research Director of the Cantu Concussion Center, Concord, MA and Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Boston University School of Medicine.  We asked Dr. Cantu a few questions about what parents need to know about concussions.

How do you know if your child has suffered a concussion? Even if they seem fine, what are some signs and symptoms that may develop later, after the athlete gets home?
The athlete may be sleepier than usual and several days post-concussion may have trouble falling and staying asleep and sensitivity to light or noise by day two or three. Kids are more irritable and have a shorter fuse after a concussion. Concussion symptoms like headache and dizziness can get worse and if they do, a doctor needs to assess the athlete.

What is the most important thing coaches, parents, schools and athletes need to know about concussion and its short and long-term effects?
The most important thing to understand is if properly managed, the overwhelming majority of people will be over concussion symptoms within 8 – 10 days. However, if the concussion is improperly managed, and the athlete remains physically active while symptomatic, they run the risk of second impact syndrome, which can have catastrophic consequences.

Since you are an adviser to the NFL, you get the chance to share your expertise with people at the highest level of the game. What would you say to the little league, middle school and high school athletes (or their parents) who want to be that “star player” – who don’t want anyone to see that they are truly shaken up on the field or on the court?

I want them to understand that playing through a concussion could have dire consequences, including death. If they are properly treated, the time away from their sport while they recover will be lessened.

Registration is still available for the 2015 Concussion Summit – visit http://bit.ly/1aebNnH to sign up.

Preventing and Treating Diaper Rash

Everyone wants a happy, healthy baby, but if your little one is in diapers, then it’s inevitable at some point he or she will likely have a diaper rash.  Diaper rash is a common condition that usually occurs because a baby’s sensitive skin has been irritated by diapers that are left on too long. The same plastic that prevents diapers from leaking also prevents air circulation, thus creating a warm, moist environment where rashes and fungi can thrive.

Diaper rash can be very uncomfortable for a little one, and in some cases may require medical treatment. Some signs of a diaper rash can include:

  • Soreness
  • Redness and red bumps
  • Peeling
  • Irritability

Identifying Infection:

Sometimes a diaper rash can also result in an infection due to yeast or bacteria. Seek medical care if your baby has any of the following symptoms:

  • Blisters or open sores
  • Pus filled sores
  • Fluid seeping from red areas

Traci Duncan is a Certified Nurse Practitioner at Children’s of Alabama with a focus on pediatric dermatology. She says the best way to treat and even prevent diaper rash is to use a barrier cream. Specifically, she says look for diaper rash creams that contain Zinc Oxide to heal and protect your baby’s skin. Duncan recommends smearing the cream on in a thick layer, as if icing a cake at each diaper change.

Types of Treatment:

  • Diaper rash creams with Zinc Oxide
  • Petroleum Jelly

Diaper rash can usually be cleared up by checking your baby’s diaper often and changing it as soon as it’s wet or soiled.  With treatment, the rash should usually go away within 2 or 3 days with home care.  If the rash persists, or if sores appear talk to your baby’s doctor.  You should also seek medical advice if the rash is accompanied by a fever, if there is pus draining from the rash, or if your child is irritable.

Prevention:

Duncan says in some cases, when a baby has sensitive skin, diaper wipes may cause irritation.  She recommends only using wipes in the case of a soiled diaper, not when it’s wet.  Instead, she says use a soft cloth and warm water when it’s just a wet diaper. Then allow the baby’s skin to dry completely before putting on a new diaper. Consider using a barrier diaper cream with each change, if the baby is prone to getting diaper rash.

The following are tips to help prevent diaper rash:

  • Keep the skin dry
  • Allow your baby time without a diaper
  • Change diaper frequently
  • Use warm water and diaper cream with each change

With these simple tips you can help ensure your baby stays comfortable and rash free, which makes for a happy baby and a happy mom and dad.