Brain and Behavior, Exercise and Brain Health, Mental Health

Summertime Safety Alert: Concussions in Children and Subsequent Mental Health Problems

School is out, summertime is here, and we’re ready for outdoor adventures! Summer vacation is certainly the best time to load up the kids and launch into active outdoor play, and yet parents need to be aware of the need for diligent after-care when little Johnny takes a tumble

Whether its biking, hiking, swimming, or jumping on the trampoline, kids’ play can often result in bumps and bruises, scrapes and scratches. While most summertime injuries are minor, a blow to the head can leave little ones with a concussion and associated neurological damage.

A new meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that 36% of kids diagnosed with a concussion had subsequent mental health problems. Researchers analyzed data from 69 articles on concussion from the past 40 years, including reports from over 89,000 children. These patients suffered from concussion-related mental health struggles such as “internalising (withdrawal, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress), externalising (conduct problems, aggression, attention, hyperactivity) and total mental health difficulties across three time points post-injury (acute, persisting and chronic).”

Scientists concluded, “Results suggest that concussion may both precipitate and exacerbate mental health difficulties, thus impacting delayed recovery and psychosocial outcomes.”

Terissa Michele Miller, MS Psy

Check out the original research:

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