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Headaches Common in Kids Months After Traumatic Brain Injury | Daytona Beach Personal Injury Lawyer

Headaches Common in Kids Months After Traumatic Brain Injury

Teens who have a concussion or other head injury are likely to suffer headaches up to a year later, according to a new study.

More than half a million children sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year in America. And while adults who suffer TBI often report headaches afterward, little is known about how often children suffer headaches after such injuries.

Researchers analyzed the occurrence of headaches three and 12 months after mild, moderate or severe TBI in children ages 5 to 17, and discovered headache risk was higher in teens and in girls.

The study demonstrates that headache can be a significant problem for some children (ages 5 to 12) after Traumatic Brain Injury. Three months after a mild TBI, 43 percent of children reported headaches, compared to 37 percent of children who had a moderate to severe TBI, and 26 percent of children in the control group (patients with only arm fractures).

Study authors led by Dr. Heidi Blume of Seattle Children’s Research Institute, conclude that the response to and recovery from TBI is different for adults, adolescents and children, and even males and females are likely to have varied symptoms and recovery.

The headache risk for adolescent girls was higher, which mirrored a pattern seen in other headache disorders like migraine. Because nearly half a million children suffering TBI every year, the study results show many youth suffer from TBI-associated headaches every year.

“Our findings indicate that many children and adolescents suffer from TBI-associated headaches yearly,” Dr. Blume said in a news release. “In addition, the prevalence of headache following mild TBI appears to follow a pattern we see in primary headache disorders such as a migraine.”

Researchers concluded that adolescents and girls appear to be at highest risk for headache after mild TBI, and that recovery from TBI is likely impacted by age at injury, gender and injury severity.

“What parents need to know is that some children with TBI may have headaches for several weeks or months after TBI, but that most recover with time,” said Dr. Blume. “Parents should be aware of what to expect after mild TBI, which may come from a sports-related injury.”

The study’s authors say future research should examine whether there are similarities in the cause of migraine and post-traumatic headache, and if therapies for migraines will be successful for post-traumatic headaches.

Parents who suspect their child has had a concussion should see a doctor before allowing them to go back to playing sports or vigorous physical activity. Seek emergency care after a head injury if the child has repeated vomiting or severe new headache, is off balance or confused, or has numbness, new weakness or trouble speaking.

To help manage children’s headaches, Dr. Blume recommends these SMART tips:

  • Sleep – get sufficient and regular sleep – about eight to nine hours a night.
  • Meals – eat regular meals and drink plenty of fluids
  • Activity – get exercise but rest immediately after TBI
  • Relaxation – find wasy to relax and manage your stress
  • Trigger avoidance – avoid those things that worsen headaches like stress, bright lights, loud noise, sleep deprivation and skipping meals.

For more on medical safety issues, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach child injury attorney.

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