Children’s Symptoms of Concussion Can Appear Longer after Injury, Last Longer
According to a new study, kids who suffer a concussion can have lingering effects after the physical symptoms go away.
A study from the emergency medicine division at Boston Children’s Hospital found that headaches, dizziness, and blurry vision can appear right after a concussion, but mental and emotional symptoms such as irritability, frustration, and depression can appear later, and stay longer.
“Patients and their families should expect the physical symptoms that they experience after a head injury to get better over the next few weeks, but that emotional symptoms may come on later, even as the physical symptoms subside,” said lead researcher Dr. Matthew Eisenberg.
“Only by knowing what symptoms can be expected after a concussion can we help reassure patients and families that what they experience is normal, know when to seek additional help, and make sure that children are taking appropriate precautions in regard to school and sports to achieve a full recovery,” Eisenberg added.
The study was published online on May 12th, and will appear in the June edition of Pediatrics. The researchers used questionnaires to keep track of 235 children and young adults between the ages of 11 and 22, who suffered a concussion and went to a pediatric emergency department. Researchers followed the children for three months after their initial concussion diagnoses, or until all their physical symptoms were gone. The patients were asked about their symptoms, sports activity, and school and athletic performance.
Most of the patients recovered from their concussions within two weeks after their injury, but 25% still suffered from headaches one month after their injury. More than 20% suffered from fatigue, and 20% reported taking longer to think through schoolwork. Additionally, emotional symptoms, such as frustration and irritability, were not as common right after the injury but often appeared later, and were still related to the concussion.
Dr. John Kuluz, director of traumatic brain injury and neurorehabilitation at Miami Children’s Hospital, said, “It takes longer than people think to fully recover from a concussion. My experience is that kids who still have symptoms two weeks after a concussion are going to have a very hard time, and it’s going to be a struggle to get them to the point where they have no symptoms.”
“Keeping a child out of school for too long will have a negative effect on their mental health. They will become anxious, they’ll become irritable, because they worry about falling behind,” Kuluz added. “But if they go back too soon without teachers being aware of their condition, they can fail, and it happens a lot.”
A study from earlier this year suggested that kids need less mental exertion, which means more time away from schoolwork, in addition to less physical exertion, to help them recover more quickly from concussions.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury Cases Related to Concussions and TBI
If your child received a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of negligence on the part of the school or sports league, you may have a personal injury case. The attorneys at Strom Law, LLC can help. We offer free consultations to help get you on the road to recovery, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.