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Managing children's concussions addressed by new guidelines

The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation has issued a new set of guidelines to help parents and medical professionals manage concussions better in kids. Concussions are common among children and teenagers with hundreds of cases reported each year in hospitals and emergency departments. Children suffer more concussions than adults do and are at an increased risk due to their ongoing brain development.

The new guidelines are aimed at parents, doctors, schools and sports organizations. They are designed to help recognize the symptoms of a concussion and manage recovery in children from 5 to 18 years old. Experts say the best treatment for a child who has suffered a concussion is a combination of physical and cognitive rest. However, many health professionals may not be prescribing the latter.

Concussions are caused by a blow to the head and may result in symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, loss of concentration, depression or changes in personality. One of the purposes of the new guidelines is to make people aware of what to look for and how to determine if a child has suffered a concussion. The guidelines are the result of two years of research and a review of more than 4,000 research papers.

A brain injury usually requires a long recovery time whether the injury is suffered by an adult or a child. Therapy is often required, and long-term care is sometimes needed. When an injury results in permanent disability, the victim may suffer serious financial harm. If the injury is the result of negligence, the victim may be able to seek compensation by filing a personal injury claim. When an injury results in death, the victim's family may be able to file a wrongful death claim.

Source: InsideToronto.com, "New guidelines to help manage concussion in kids", June 25, 2014

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