Infographic for MedSchoolForParents.com : Karen Arane
When a single child has a head injury, the consequences can be detrimental for the child and his or her family. Now think of a million or two million children. This is an epidemic.
Understanding the impact, literally, of head injuries has been a target of scientists and health care providers for a very long time. But the extent of the problem has only recently been reaching dinner tables, scientific institutions and regulators’ desks.
One of the most significant problems that pediatricians and public health providers face is the lack of clear understanding on how big the concussion epidemic is. How many children really need to seek medical attention after a concussion?
A study recently published by the Seattle Sports Concussion Research Collaboration, in the July 2016 issue of Pediatrics, suggests that 1.1-1.9 million children under the age of 18 suffer from concussions annually in the US.
These numbers were composed by amalgamating three national data sources and are the most recent and inclusive estimate to date.
The surprising finding is that over half of patients who suffered from a concussion were never seen by a health care professional and likely managed the symptoms on their own.
There is a clear case then, to develop robust tools to educate children, parents and professionals. Understanding large-scale symptomatology can help educate parents and coaches about the importance of seeking medical attention on a timely basis after an injury.
Professionals will help determine the need for imaging (like a CT Scan), learn about the risks of concussion, be aware of measures that can help relieve the symptoms and plan safe return to academic and sport activities.