Your child may have a concussion, and you may not even know it

Your child may have a concussion, and you may not even know it

A concerning new study indicates that children are suffering from this condition more commonly associated with football players far more than people realize.

An alarming new study has bad news for parents of young children — he or she may have a concussion and you might not even be aware.

The study found that most young children who suffer a concussion never go to a hospital emergency rooms, and the injuries are hugely underreported, according to a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia statement.

About 80 precent of children were diagnosed at a primary care practice rather than at the emergency department, the study found. And one third of these children were under the age of 12.

“We learned two really important things about pediatric concussion healthcare practices,” says Kristy Arbogast, PhD, lead author and Co-Scientific Director of CHOP’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention, in the statement. “First, four in five of this diverse group of children were diagnosed at a primary care practice–not the emergency department. Second, one-third were under age 12, and therefore represent an important part of the concussion population that is missed by existing surveillance systems that focus on high school athletes.”

The findings are based on data from about 8,000 children who were under the age of 18. All had been examined for concussion between 2010 and 2014.

The authors noted that w‎hile it’s not a bad idea to bring children with a suspected concussion to a doctor, and kids may even get quicker care than in the ER, many of the cases aren’t given the urgency they need by parents.

“We need surveillance that better captures concussions that occur in children and adolescents,” says Debra Houry, MD, MPH, Director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Better estimates of the number, causes, and outcomes of concussion will allow us to more effectively prevent and treat them, which is a priority area for CDC’s Injury Center.”

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