Lorraine Kuczwaj never lets her daughter, Shannon, snowboard without a helmet. "It's like putting your seatbelt on," said Ms. Kucwaj, an ACI educator and nurse at Northwell.
Yet despite the safety rules she put in place, her 16-year-old daughter, Shannon, still fell while snowboarding and hit her head. Soon, she experienced headaches and dizziness, and had difficulty concentrating - symptoms of a concussion, an injury that affects how brain cells work.
"I was worried because a good friend of hers was out of school for a year [after a concussion]," said Lorraine, who took Shannon to see Rosanna Sabini, DO, medical director of Northwell's Concussion Program at Southside Hospital and an expert in brain injury medicine. "If you treat a concussion right away and address the problems that bring on the symptoms, you can make quick improvements."
Dr. Sabini created a plan for Shannon, including staying home from school for the first few days, limiting or avoiding activities that worsen symptoms, refraining from gym class and sports, and vestibular rehabilitation, which helps retrain the brain to compensate for problems with balance, decreasing dizziness and improving coordination.