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Brain injuries: Study suggests children recover quickly

Care for children with concussions worldwide, including in Ontario, will likely benefit from research done at a university in another province and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A co-author of a report that was recently released says the work done at an integrated concussion research program will assist physicians who have to deal with concussions in children. He says many cases are not reported, but the reported cases of children suffering mild traumatic brain injuries have doubled over recent years, which might be due to more awareness.

Any jolt or bump to the head can cause the brain to bounce inside the skull, and brain cells could be damaged. However, the study suggests that parents should not overreact and have CT scans, X-rays and blood tests done unless significant symptoms are present. The author says most children recover fully from mild traumatic brain injuries in a reasonably short period.

The report further suggests that no more than one to three days of rest is necessary in mild cases. However, parents should keep a close eye on children with more serious symptoms like nausea and vomiting, worsening headaches and periods of unconsciousness. If any of these are present, imaging scans would certainly be warranted.

Although Ontario parents are advised not to overreact, authorities estimate that 250,000 children suffer mild traumatic brain injuries in Canada every year. For this reason, parents whose children suffer concussions due to the negligent supervision of a coach or school personnel might have grounds to sue for recovery of medical and other expenses. Questions about their legal rights can be answered by a personal injury lawyer who has experience in dealing with brain injury cases.

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