Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Kids With Past Concussions Take Longer to Recover

Study has implications for how long children should wait to resume activities, experts say

continued...

But Eisenberg pointed out that those athletes are routinely exposed to high-impact collisions. No one knows if kids' concussions, even repeat ones, would translate to health effects down the road.

According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 173,000 U.S. children and teens land in the ER each year because of a concussion sustained in sports or recreational activities, like bike riding.

Concussion symptoms include headache, dizziness, nausea, ringing in the ears, fatigue and confusion -- though these problems may not become noticeable until hours after the jolt to the head. And contrary to popular belief, concussions usually do not involve loss of consciousness.

The current findings are based on 280 11- to 22-year-olds treated at the Boston Children's ER for a concussion. Of these, 21 patients had a concussion within the past year; and typically, Eisenberg's team found, their recovery from the current injury was three times longer, versus the recovery times of kids who'd never had a concussion before.

It's not clear, though, whether that high-risk time window actually lasts a whole year. "We need to figure out, more specifically, what the vulnerable window is," Eisenberg said. "Is it one month? Is it three months? We don't know."

Both Eisenberg and Yeates said they are big supporters of sports and exercise, and they would not want parents to keep their kids out of activities over concussion fears.

But both also said that if your child has suffered more than one concussion in a particular sport, it may be time to think about changing to a different activity.

"We don't know what the long-term risks might be," Yeates said. "But since we don't know, it seems best to be conservative and assume it's not good for kids to have multiple concussions."

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

preschool age girl sitting at desk
Article
look at my hand
Slideshow
 
woman with cleaning products
Slideshow
young boy with fever
Article
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

WebMD Special Sections