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Study Suggests Kids Recover More Slowly from Repeat Concussions

Young Athletes Could Suffer Longer after Second or Third Concussion

Research suggests that, when a child or young athlete suffers a concussion, it could take them up to  two weeks to stop suffering the side effects, which include memory problems and headaches.

However, in a new study, children and young adults who suffered their second concussion in the last year took much longer to recover – 35 days on average, according to the new research.

While it should be obvious that multiple head injuries are a bad thing, the new study suggests that some coaches and parents could have hustled their children back into sports programs before they were ready, which could cause further brain damage.

Researchers reported that among 280 children and young adults, ranging from 11 to 22 years old, who had suffered a concussion in the past year, those who suffered similar head injury in the past took almost twice as long to recover.

Recovery was slowed even further for children who had had more than one concussion in the past.

Sports involvement is a major source of concussions for young people, accounting for almost two-thirds of the brain injury in the study. Generally, experts recommend that students involved in sports wait until all their symptoms have cleared up, and they have been cleared by a health care professional, before returning to the game.

This latest study suggests that parents and students should not only wait until concussion symptoms have gone away, they should gradually reintroduce the student’s regular routine.

“It’s been part of the medical lore, this idea that multiple concussions are ‘bad,’ and having a repeat concussion within a short amount of time is bad,” said Keith Yeates, chief of pediatric psychology and neuropsychology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. But this study, he added, helps confirm that.

The study did not suggest whether repeated concussions led to long-term memory or cognitive problems. Professional athletes, who often suffer multiple concussions over a short, highly physical career, often report long-term cognitive problems. One recent study involving retired professional football players found an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and Lou Gherig’s disease.

It’s not clear, though, whether that high-risk time window actually lasts a whole year. “We need to figure out, more specifically, what the vulnerable window is,” said lead researcher Dr. Matthew Eisenberg, of Boston Children’s Hospital. “Is it one month? Is it three months? We don’t know.”

Concussion Tips for Children

  • Make sure they sleep full nights – no sleepovers!

  • They should rest throughout the day – naps!

  • No sports, no swingsets, no monkey bars, no rough play, no bikes!

  • No concentration heavy activities.  This should make the homework averse children happy

  • Ask a doctor before giving any over-the-counter medications

  • Get the go-ahead from a health care professional before sending them back to school

  • Make sure other adults in the child’s life are informed about concussions and any treatment or rest needs the child has because of their injury

  • Make sure they are eating well and keeping hydrated, limit junk food and sodas

  • Not too much time in front of screens – computers, video games, phones, ipads, etc

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.



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