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How concussions affect kids and teens

Christina Master, M.D.

Christina Master, M.D.

Concussions between experienced athletes have been included broadly in the media. But Christina Master, M.D., co-director of the concussion program at Kid’s Clinic of Philadelphia, thinks far more notice should really be compensated to mind injuries in kids and teens.

The most current figures display that every calendar year in the U.S. about 283,000 kids under the age of eighteen check out the emergency room for recreation-associated traumatic mind injuries, together with concussion. Accidents from playground things to do and call sports—especially football, soccer, and basketball—make up practically fifty percent these visits.

Larger recognition of concussions at the pro athlete degree “has surely trickled down to the youth athlete degree” and has sparked far more investigate in the latest many years, Dr. Master says.

New investigate paths

Several of these new research are changing our concepts about cure and diagnosis, for case in point, how prolonged a whole recovery usually takes and the dissimilarities in concussion concerning girls and boys.

“The plan of sitting in a dark room soon after a concussion is possibly heading by the wayside.”

– Christina Master, M.D.

Dr. Master has worked on the latest Countrywide Institutes of Well being-funded research that have seemed at new, faster, and far more aim methods to diagnose concussion. These include very simple balance checks in a doctor’s business office and eye tracking checks that can tell if a mind harm took place.

Exploration also shows that a person in 6 kids concerning the ages of 5 and 15 who get a concussion will have one more a person within two many years. A the latest review of Kid’s Clinic of Philadelphia clients discovered that the hazard of repeat harm was highest between the oldest youngsters.

Rethinking recovery

Exploration indicates that youngsters who have endured a concussion may have to have far more assistance at faculty and with sports activities as they recuperate. But light physical exercise, this sort of as going for walks on a treadmill or driving a stationary bicycle, could assistance recovery.

“The plan of sitting in a dark room soon after a concussion is possibly heading by the wayside,” Dr. Master says. “When a kid’s signs or symptoms start out to strengthen a number of days soon after the concussion, there is a role for very low-intensity action. The plan is just to get the coronary heart charge a little bit elevated devoid of provoking serious signs or symptoms.”

Mother and father, lecturers, and coaches have to have to consider concussions severely. “They can have a massive effects on a kid’s everyday living. They have to have guidance at residence and at faculty, and lively management from a doctor,” Dr. Master notes.

But it is really not the conclude of the world, she adds. “Children generally do very well in recovering from a concussion with appropriate notice and cure.”