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Girls twice as likely to suffer long-term concussion symptoms, says American Medical Association(AMA)

Kids are generally at a higher risk for concussions due to physically active lifestyles and sport-related injuries. While it isn’t always possible to prevent your child’s head injuries, awareness and early treatment is key!

New Research

Last week, the AMA published a study that identifies precursors for children who run a higher risk for suffering from post-concussion symptoms. Dr. Roger Zemek and his colleagues measured physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioural changes in over 3,000 children, ages 5 to18,  who were diagnosed with a concussion.

What They Found

The research revealed two surprising factors:

  1. Girls are twice as likely to suffer long-term concussion symptoms as boys.
  2. Teens and children over the age of 8 were at a higher risk for suffering from post-concussion syndrome.

For parents, the first step is knowing what symptoms to watch for following a head injury.

Signs of Potential Concussion

  • Balance problems
  • Confusion
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Dizziness and “seeing stars”
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Headache
  • Behavioral changes
  • Inability to read
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Pressure in the head
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Slurred speech
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep problems

What You Should Do

Some of these symptoms occur immediately and some are delayed for days or weeks. Keep in mind as well, that many children won’t complain about how they feel because they want to be able to keep playing their sport!

Be alert to any changes in your child’s behavior, whether obvious or subtle following injury. Have them assessed by someone who’s qualified to conduct a concussion assessment, or is trained in sports injury management or neurology. We’re here to help!

References

Adelson, P. D., Pineda, J., Bell, M. J., Abend, N. S., Berger, R. P., Giza, C. C., … & Wainwright,M. S. (2012). Common data elements for pediatric traumatic brain injury: recommendations from the working group on demographics and clinical assessment. Journal of neurotrauma, 29(4), 639-653.

Boake C, McCauley SR, Levin HS,  et al.  Diagnostic criteria for postconcussional syndrome after mild to moderate traumatic brain injury.  J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2005;17(3):350-356

Falk, A. C., Von Wendt, L., & Söderkvist, B. K. (2009). The specificity of post-concussive symptoms in the pediatric population. Journal of Child Health Care, 13(3), 227-238.

Zemek, R. L., Farion, K. J., Sampson, M., & McGahern, C. (2013). Prognosticators of persistent symptoms following pediatric concussion: a systematic review. JAMA pediatrics, 167(3), 259-265.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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