To Your Health
May, 2021 (Vol. 15, Issue 05)
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Post-Concussion Mental Health

By Editorial Staff

Concussion is the buzzword these days in athletics, from professional to amateur; and adult to youth leagues, and rightfully so. As with any health issue involving their child, parents are understandably concerned with the potential for concussion among their active child - and unfortunately, this won't make them rest any easier.

New research suggests children who suffer a concussion may experience mental health issues post-concussion ... and these issues could persist for several years following the initial impact. In fact, up to a third of children and adolescents may experience post-concussion mental health complications compared to children who experience non-concussion injuries, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress (nearly 37 percent of concussion sufferers) and aggression, attention problems and hyperactivity (20 percent of sufferers).

Published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the study involved nearly 90,000 children age 18 and younger from nine different countries. Keep in mind that, as the authors note, athletics were not the only cause of concussions; falls were #1 (42.3 percent), with sports a distant second at 29.5 percent, and car accidents third at 15.5 percent.

The takeaway for parents:  Keep your children safe, whether they're involved in sports or any activity; and make sure your doctor provides post-concussion care including evaluation of potential mental health issues.