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Why Concussions Are Different for Kids

Although concussions can happen at any age and can cause the same symptoms for children as adults, kids can be particularly susceptible to the injury—and may even take longer to heal.

According to Cornell University, every year about half a million children visit an emergency room for traumatic brain injuries, and they’re the top cause of ER visits among teens. About 80 to 90 percent of these are concussions.

Here are some reasons concussions are different for children and teens:

  • Their brains are more susceptible to injury: Because their brains are still developing, they may be more vulnerable when it comes to falls, fights, or sportsrelated injuries. That factor also makes recovery times longer than for adults.
  • They may not be able to tell you the problem: Younger children, in particular, probably won’t be adept at describing “brain fog” or letting you know they have a gap in their memory of certain events.
  • Symptoms may be mistaken for behavior problems: Some of the symptoms of concussion are irritability, frustration and difficulty concentrating. These are some of the same symptoms as ADHD.
  • Excessive sleep is harder to detect: As any parent of a teenager knows, sleep is an essential component of their lives. But that makes it harder to spot a concussion, because that sleep may be one of the symptoms that the brain is injured.
  • Symptoms may not occur right away: Similar to adults, the signs of a concussion could be delayed, sometimes by up to 72 hours. By then, whatever injury happened may be forgotten, especially if it’s minor. For example, if a child has a headache and is nauseated, it may be tied to the tumble off his bike a few days before.
  • Kids and teens may not tell you about symptoms: Especially if they’re involved in sports and want to keep playing, children may not report that a fall or hit has caused a headache, dizziness, or other sign of concussion. They may try to play through it, thinking it’ll get better, even though that could worsen the damage considerably.

Whether your child plays sports or not, know the signs of a concussion and speak with a healthcare provider or visit the ER if you suspect your child may be dealing with this type of injury.


The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.

Posted by vivadmin at 9/6/2016 8:00:00 PM
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