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Concussion symptoms in children can have lasting affects

Being involved in a car accident is scary enough, but when the accident involves your children, you may worry a little more about whether they are truly alright. Even though your children appear to be okay, it might be a good idea to have them checked out by a doctor for a potential concussion, or brain injury.

According to U.S. researchers, they have found that cognitive symptoms can last for approximately 12 months in children who have sustained a mild traumatic brain injury. This is sobering for many parents who think that because children are young, that they will bounce back quickly from just about anything. The study, which was just published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, indicates that mild traumatic brain injuries in children have more symptoms than children who do not have injuries involving the head.

The symptoms may be hard to relate back to the concussion because the symptoms may not appear to be that bad or caused by something other than a brain injury. Symptoms can include headaches, fatigue or complaints that they can't remember things or are forgetful.

Participants in the study were children ages 8-15 who came to the emergency room with a head trauma or orthopedic injury. Parents were asked to be a part of the study and record their child's pre-injury symptoms and rate post-injury symptoms.

Doctors involved with the study said that the concussion symptoms were most common right after the injury, but did tend to linger. What this study suggests is that doctors need to identify head trauma's early and if a child is at risk for persistent post-concussive symptoms, then the doctor needs to focus on appropriate healing time for that child. Many children may feel fine soon after a concussion, but it is important for them to rest and heal.

It's best to err on the side of caution when dealing with a possible head trauma in children and have them checked out by a doctor. In the long run, you'll be glad that you did.

Source: UPI.com, "Kid brain concussive symptoms last a year," Mar. 7, 2012

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