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New Advice Out for Detecting, Treating Concussions in Kids

Parents worried about whether their children have suffered a concussion from a fall, accident or sports injury can now consult a new set of guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for diagnosing and treating concussions. According to The Verge, nearly 3 million kids were in emergency rooms between 2005 and 2009 for suspected concussions, so this isn’t a small problem. But automatically ordering X-rays isn’t the solution, the CDC says. Also, if your child does have a concussion, while most will recover within six weeks, it’s also important to know when it’s OK to resume normal activities.

Concussions are serious business — as the world of contact sports like football knows all too well. Not only that, if you continue to suffer head trauma like this, over time you’re bound to raise your risk for neurological dysfunction later in life, including Parkinson’s disease, to name just one. However, recent research shows that even a single concussion could increase your risk for Parkinson’s by 56 to 83 percent, which illustrates exactly why it’s important to prevent these types of injuries.

Prevention includes always wearing a seat belt when you’re driving or riding in a car, and making sure children are properly restrained, too. Wear a helmet when riding a bike, motorcycle or all-terrain vehicle; when playing contact sports; and when horseback riding, skiing, snowboarding and even when playing baseball or softball, since a ball could easily hit you in the head.

If an accident does occur, as the new CDC guidelines state, it’s important to watch for common telltale signs of a serious head trauma, such as:

  • Poor concentration and foggy thinking
  • Impaired word recall
  • Mood changes, irritability and emotional dysfunction
  • Inability to focus
  • Sleep problems or hypersomnolence

Also remember that when you or someone you know experiences an injury to the head, sometimes serious brain injury symptoms won’t show up for a week or two — or more. That’s why it’s especially important to watch for any psychological changes that may occur after the injury.

When it comes to treating traumatic brain injury (TBI) an interesting new strategy is to employ something called flotation therapy, which consists of eight to 10 sessions within a three- or four-week period. Other treatment interventions include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, low-light laser therapy (LLLT), aka photobiomodulation, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy and cannabidiol oil, which has shown to be effective in recovering from strokes and seizures as well as concussions.

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