If you have kids participating in sports, you may want to read about this latest study. The relationship between concussion injuries and mental health problems have been poorly understood. Moreover, mental health may be a taboo topic for some.
One Third Develop Mental Health Problems
One third of children and adolescents develop a mental health problem after a concussion injury, according to a recent review study. In addition, the mental health problems may persist for several years after injury.
Researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia reviewed 69 articles published between 1980 to June 2020. These articles involved almost 90,000 children, from ages of 0 to 18 years, from nine countries including Australia, US, Canada and New Zealand, who had a concussion.
Falls, Sports Injuries and Car Accidents
In the study, falls accounted for 42.3 percent of the concussion injuries while sporting injuries accounted for 29.5 percent. Car accidents came in at 15.5 percent.
Based on the researchers’ review, 36.7 percent of the kids experienced significantly high levels of internalizing problems such as withdrawing, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress after concussion injuries. About 20 percent of the kids showed externalizing problems such as aggression, attention problems and hyperactivity after concussion injuries.
Also, kids with pre-existing mental health problems were more predisposed to receive a new mental health diagnosis after the concussion injury.
The study was published in the April 2021 edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Pay Attention to Post-Injury Care
Even if your kids don’t play sports, notice that falls account for over 42 percent of concussion injuries in kids. Please do pay attention if you kids get a concussion injury.
Concussion is indeed a growing public health concern, with a third of children experiencing a head injury before 13 years of age. Now that there is evidence that mental health problems can develop from concussion injuries in kids, we should also pay attention to post-injury care for these kids.