There has been a heightened awareness of concussions diagnosis and prevention in recent years. This applies to professional athletes all the way down to young children. Generally speaking, those who have suffered a concussion would cease work and activities until the symptoms went away. This usually meant the following:
- Sitting in a dark room
- No television, computers or other screens
- Minimal stimulation
- No physical exertion
A change in approach
Now the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its treatment of mild brain trauma. The changes include the following:
- Return to school more quickly
- Allow them to use electronics or screens
- Resume physical activity within a few days
This is extremely good news for parents, who were likely having difficulty keeping young kids away from Fortnight or the traditional running, jumping and playing. The kids may be less thrilled about the quicker return to school.
These changes address the needs of the children – it is not relaxing for young active children to sit and do nothing, quite the opposite in fact. A day or two of rest may absolutely be necessary, but those who then resumed activities healed faster than those who waited five days.
Easing them back
The shift to resuming normal activities should still be a gradual one with consultation from doctors, parents and educators. Perhaps the concussed child starts with half days or maybe not. The same goes for homework and exercise. The goal is to go through an entire day without getting a headache. Rather than getting a MRI or CT scan, doctors also recommend a checklist to track progress on how moody, sleepy or off-balance the child feels or exhibits.
Catastrophic injuries still need caution and treatment
The heightened awareness regarding brain injuries is warranted. According to NPR, 1.1 to 1.9 million children are treated each year for these types of injuries with even more cases going unreported. If there is concern about injuries, it is wise to seek medical help. If these are severe, debilitating or life changing due to the negligence of others, it is a good idea to discuss the injury with an experienced personal injury lawyer.