The U.S. Centers for Disease Controlling and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a series of criteria for the effective diagnosis and treatment of children who’ve suffered concussions. Derived from a quarter of a century of research, the guidelines cover the management of child concussions and the types of procedures that are likely to produce the greatest benefits.
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Neurology have both issued their own set of evidence-based criteria, they apply exclusively to sports concussions. The CDC guidelines are applicable to concussions resulting from all events, including car accidents, falls, and sports.
The results of the study published in the journal Pediatrics in 2016 indicate that kids sustain approximately 1.1 million to 1.9 million concussions each year due to recreation and sports activity. However, researchers also discovered that between 500,000 and 1.2 million concussions are never reported to healthcare professionals.
These statistics indicate that potentially hundreds of thousands of children may be suffering head injuries and concussions that can impact their future cognitive capabilities regarding memory, learning, mood, etc. As well, many children may be at risk for second impact syndrome, a condition that occurs when a subsequent concussion is sustained before the initial concussion has healed. This condition involves a rapid swelling of the brain which can lead to death.
Child Concussion Diagnosis and Treatment
The new evidence-based guidelines issued by the CDC indicate that after a child suffers a concussion, the symptoms most often clear up within 30 to 90 days. However, every child is different, and recovery times can vary. For instance, children and teenagers with mental illnesses and learning problems, as well as those already having sustained a concussion may require a longer recovery time.
As it regards the potential severity of a concussion, children experiencing one or more of the following symptoms may require additional medical care:
- Worsening headaches
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sensitivity to noise or light
Proper treatment for concussions initially involves a period of rest, both mentally and physically, for the first three days. The child should not participate in any school or sports activities. Subsequent to this three-day rest period, the child should gradually return to normal activities – doing so can be important to preventing further inactivity from worsening the symptoms.
According to the CDC guidelines, CT scans and x-rays are not effective at diagnosing concussions. In addition, blood tests have proven ineffective as well.
Co-author of the CDC guidelines and brain injury specialist Matthew Breiding advises that parents should teach their children to report any concussion symptoms immediately. As well, it is important for parents to remind children of the serious consequences of a concussion and to not ignore or fail to report the injury because it may affect their participation in an activity or sport, or make the them look weak in front of friends. Proper diagnosis and treatment of a concussion is crucial in order to avoid a more serious injury.
If your child has suffered a debilitating concussion or brain injury due to the negligence of another party, our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Taylor & Ring are able to fight on your behalf for the justice and compensation you deserve. To arrange a free consultation about your case, call us today at 310.776.6390 or complete our contact form.