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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Early head injuries can have long term effects among young children

Every year, millions of people suffer from head injury symptoms. Most of these are minor because the skull is designed to protect the brain. Most closed head injury symptoms will usually go away on their own. However, more than half a million head injuries a year, are severe enough to require hospitalization.

Seek professional medical attention immediately for severe or penetrating head injuries. Knowing the signs of head injury symptoms can save a life.

'Dr. Goodman' (clinical assistant professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia) says, "kids and sports have been around for a long time. It is up to the adults who are involved in children's sports to keep a balance between safety and competition."

Head injury symptoms will vary depending on the type of injury. There are two types of head injury, closed or penetrating.
A closed head injury is caused by a hard blow to the head by striking an object. These closed head injuries can be either minor or severe, each having a different set of head injury symptoms.

- Minor blunt head injury symptoms (sometimes referred to as a concussion) can include headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and a general feeling of instability.

- Severe head injury symptoms can include loss of consciousness for longer periods. Some symptoms can mimick those of a stroke and can lead to permanent damage if not treated immediately by medical professionals.

Early Head Injury Can Have Long-Term Effects

Although young children with brain injury usually recover their mental abilities quite rapidly, they can have serious problems later. "These kids have incredible learning deficits even when the IQ returns to normal," said Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, a University of Texas neurologist. She noted that 70% of children's brain injuries affect the frontal cortex.

Because growth in the brain's frontal regions continues throughout young adulthood, early injury there can damage formation of the protective myelin insulation around neurons . This can impair their ability to control emotions and inhibit inappropriate behavior. These kids have trouble responding to subtle social cues and planning difficult tasks.

Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), also known as concussion , can damage your brain at the cellular level.

"Concussions are caused by a blow to the head," says Michael Goodman. "They can occur when a child falls and during any sport that can involve a collision of the head with another object – be it a head, a ball, or the ground."

All concussions are cause for concern, but not all concussions are the same. Symptoms can include confusion, headache, concentration problems, mood swings, or sleep difficulties.

Parents and children should heed the guidance of medical and athletic professionals during these situations.

Source: 'Watch your head'

Useful links: ''Brain Injury' is a site dedicated to provide medical, legal informations about traumatic brain injury.

* ''The brain injury Information network'

* Children who suffer a head injury are much more likely to have another one within six months, researchers reported. More at: At Risk: One Head Injury Sets the Stage for a Second One in Children

Child brain injury blog

* A very useful post at 'Parent24' about head injury.
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