Learn what causes concussion or other brain injuries in children, how these injuries can be prevented, and how to get proper treatment.
When we think of “youth” and “concussion,” the first thing that likely comes to mind is a teenager engaging in a high-risk activity such as football, soccer, or snowboarding. But not all youth brain injury results from these risky activities. Of the millions of concussions reported by emergency rooms every year, figures put concussions related to sports and recreation at just 30% – so 70% of concussions result from other causes.
Children can experience a range of symptoms after concussion. They require individualized treatments and strategies for returning to activities and to school. A physician with training and experience in treating concussions must provide early interventions and follow-up, regardless of how long recovery takes.
Although most children recover fully after a single concussion, others have long-term effects. Of course, prevention is the best strategy, but if a concussion occurs, parents must understand a brain injury has occurred.
Child abuse is a top cause of brain injury-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths among children of all ages. Diagnosis can be challenging in cases of pediatric abusive head trauma. Prevention strategies at the individual and community level can be effective and there are many available resources.
Dr. Sandel talks with Dan Carson at WBHM about the risks of concussion, especially repeated concussions that occur in collision sports.
An early childhood teacher talks with Dr. Sandel about about concussion in young children. What causes it? What do we need to look for? And how can we help during the recovery process?
Stories of athletes like Brittany who experience concussions or more severe brain injuries can help to educate others. She did get back on track.
Parents play a major role in identifying the effects of concussions in their daughters and sons, helping them manage symptoms, and supporting their recovery.
Parents must communicate with the school after their son or daughter has a concussion to make sure that there are accommodations if needed during recovery.
There are many reasons why kids do not report concussions. They must be educated about brain injuries, including concussions. They must be empowered to report to an adult any symptoms after a blow to the head, neck, or body that causes neurological symptoms (like dizziness, headache, or confusion). Removal from the sport or activity followed by evaluation by a licensed healthcare provider should be expedited.
Children and adolescents must understand that if they have any symptoms after a blow or jolt to the head or neck they must stop immediately and get help from an adult.
The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT), an FDA-approved computerized tool for evaluating people with a suspected concussion, is not a stand-alone diagnostic tool. A comprehensive evaluation that includes additional cognitive testing, a physical examination, and a care plan are necessary.
Over a million youth ages 6-12 and 1.5 million age 12 to 17 play football, the most dangerous sport in America. Prevention efforts cannot take away all the risk.
Caroline had a sports-related concussions on the soccer field. Immediate removal from a game or practice after a suspected concussion should be followed by a medical evaluation. Death and disability from second impact syndrome can be prevented with adherence to guidelines and laws enacted in all states and the District of Columbia.
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