For a long time, I have been concerned with the impact of concussions and mild head injuries on children. Most of the time, parents and even the children themselves minimize the possible outcomes. They often forget even to mention these events to me when they come in for an evaluation.
An article in Yahoo News titled “After concussion, kids’ quality of life may dip for months” by Kathryn Doyle is important in beginning the discussion of how these mild concussions can impact school functioning and life functioning. Parents have not had a great deal of information to help them when their child has a concussion. The authors looked at 2,000 children who had suffered an acute concussion and then followed them as they recovered. Some recovered quickly. Others had symptoms that persisted beyond 3 months. Two findings seem most significant to me.
- First, all students with head injuries showed evidence of academic difficulty after their injury regardless of how quickly they recovered. So, even if your child seemed to recover quickly, his or her school-work may show evidence of difficulty up to three months later.
- Second, they also measured quality of life issues. They found the same pattern in that children with concussions had a decline in their quality of life for at least 3 months.
The article makes some recommendations for treatment that are important, even though more work is needed. They recommend slowly returning children to their regular routine. They also note that more research is needed on this important to devise treatment strategies for this group of children.