A new study has provided an important (though perhaps unsurprising) finding: children who suffer concussions need more time to recover than adults.
The study, which was carried out by medical officials based in Ontario, Canada, involved a review of 4,000 academic papers and examinations of 2,000 concussion patients.
There were a number of findings. For one, researchers found that children and teens who suffered a concussion still had concussion-like symptoms more than a month later. This was rare for many adults.
Second, researchers discovered that children and teens who suffered a concussion sometimes experience memory loss.
Given these findings, the health officials behind the study recommend that children and teens who suffer a concussion rest for at least thirty days. Not only does this mean curbing all physical activity, but also eliminating TV viewing and video gaming as well.
The researchers behind the study say they hope this most recent report will encourage parents and coaches to be more vigilant when treating potential concussion cases. According to the report’s lead author, Dr. Roger Zemek, “only about one in four providers were using concussion tools to measure concussion symptoms severity and to track recovery. My hope is that this resource will lead to standardization of care of pediatric concussion across the medical community.”
Dr. Zemek says that it’s important we treat children’s concussions differently because, unlike adults, they’re still “go[ing] through stages of early development — learning to walk, to speak, to read, etc.”
“There is a great deal of growth that occurs in the later childhood and adolescent years,” Dr. Zemek added. Examples include “social development” and “critical thinking skills”.
Those behind the study are working on a new Concussion Recognition Tool pocket guide that they hope will be distributed to and used by schools across Canada and the U.S.