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Supporting Your Child's Brain

This article was published in our locally-owned Montana Parent Magazine, one of the best resources out there, and full of wholesome ideas for children! 

Below is the text as published, or click here to read Dr. Justin’s article in the digital copy of Montana Parent. It’s on page 52 of the May 2014 issue. 

Supporting your Child’s Brain 

by Justin Anderson, D.C.

Holding my three-year-old son close to my chest and watching his eyes roll back into his head, I knew that the blow to his head was serious. Moments later, his upper body rigidly arched away from me and then he fell completely limp. I carried him quickly away from the side of the pool, limp in my arms and with his eyes still rolled back. I was gently calling his name and telling him to “come back to Daddy” for what was probably thirty seconds, but it felt like ten minutes. Finally, his eyes slowly came back to me. Soon after connecting his distant, little, glazed eyes with mine, he knew that something bad had happened. He started to cry. Three minutes later, while trying to console him, I noticed that his nose had begun to bleed—another serious indicator, since the blow had been to the back of his head. Hastily, I checked his ears for signs of cerebral spinal fluid, and to my relief, found none.

Even without any cerebral spinal fluid present, with my experience as an athletic trainer at Montana State University and my license as a Doctor of Chiropractic, I knew that my son had received his first Mild Traumatic Brain Injury—better known as a “concussion.”

As disappointed as my other son was with having to leave the waterpark after only ten minutes, I knew this was just the beginning. I had witnessed the whole event, from the back of his head slamming onto solid concrete, to watching his eyes roll back, feeling him have his first seizure, feeling his limp body while asking him to “come back to Daddy,” and then minutes later seeing his nose bleed. My training, background, and on-field experience prepared me for the next step of determining how serious this concussion was. I considered the possibility of any “post-concussion” symptoms that can follow any closed head injury for up to months after an accident.

Why is any of this important, and why would you want to know more about your child’s having a concussion? Because parents need to be able to rule out life-threatening conditions and to better support their child during the healing period. The lack of proper knowledge and education in identifying closed head injuries is leaving many children without the proper post-care to maximize healing and restore normal function.

So what are some post-care options for parents? Post-care is not the same as diagnosing results of serious head trauma with a CT scan or MRI. By far, the majority of concussions leave no imprint that can be diagnosed with these imaging tests. Beyond diagnosis, I am passionate about the need for creating a continued and healthy healing environment for your child’s brain.

From my background, education, and hands-on experience, I have a number of recommendations. After ruling out more serious brain injury, here are a few of the next steps that you, as a parent, can take:

  • Have your child’s spine and nervous system evaluated by a properly-trained Doctor of Chiropractic.
  • Have your child evaluated by a proficient Cranial-Sacral Therapist.
  • Have your child established on a properly-constructed whole food nutrition program.
  • Have your child put on an appropriate whole-food supplement program. This supplies the body with the necessary building blocks to repair and mend any damaged tissue.
  • Keep your child protected, and have him instructed on how to avoid another blow to the head. A second blow could lead to more complicated issues.
  • For more information on looking for signs and symptoms of a concussion, you can go to www.cdc.gov/concussion.

Dr. Justin Anderson has a passion for caring for children, from pregnancy through their growing years when bumps and bruises—or more extreme—can be frequent. As a Doctor of Chiropractic practicing at Wellness Montana, and previously as an athletic trainer at Montana State University, Dr. Anderson is equipped to assist in the medical needs and restorative healing of your entire family. The Webster Technique and nutrition consulting are other areas of his expertise, which he is pleased to provide to our community. Contact Wellness Montana at www.wellnessmontana.com or by calling 406.522.LIFE(5433). 

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