Between one and two million children will suffer a concussion each year in the United States during sports and other recreational activities.
A large new study suggests that these children may face a higher risk of developing mental health problems. It is important to understand that a concussion is a brain injury.
While most children who suffer a concussion make a full recovery over time, there may be a lingering impact for some. The new research highlights the importance of taking concussions seriously.
“Some of the main symptoms after a concussion can include mood changes, anxious thoughts, behavioral changes, irritability, that sort of thing,” said Dr Kelly McNally, of the Nationwide Children’s Complex Concussion. Clinic.
A Canadian study published in JAMA Network looked at the records over a 10-year period of children ages 5 to 18 who suffered a concussion or orthopedic injury. None had had a mental health diagnosis before being injured.
Researchers found that people with concussions had a 40% increased risk of developing a mental health problem compared to children of the same age and sex with an orthopedic injury.
Those who had suffered a concussion also had an increased risk of self-harm and of being hospitalized for a psychiatric problem. McNally said parents should be aware of these possibilities.
“I think the first thing for parents to do is just keep that conversation going with their kids. So if they’ve had an injury, ask them how they’re feeling. How are they emotionally? How are they doing? are they going out?” McNally said. “We don’t want parents to be afraid of their children playing sports. sanity after something like a concussion.
If you notice any red flags, such as mood swings, withdrawal, or your child no longer enjoying activities they once did, talk to your child’s doctor right away. Many problems can be dealt with faster and easier when identified earlier.
The researchers said it was very important to return children to their normal routines as soon as it is safe. These activities and a sense of belonging are important for their mental health.
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