Ask Kathy M. Archives
A Collection of Questions and Answers from TBI Advice Expert - Kathy Moeller

Topic: Miscellaneous - Sports-Related Injuries in Children

Question:

Dear Kathy M.,

I am an occupational therapy student. I am conducting research on concussions in children under the age of 12 injured during sporting events. I am sure you are aware that much attention is being paid to this subject at the professional, college and high school levels. However, little research is going on with younger children. If you know of any other sources for such information I would appreciate learning about it.

Judi


Kathy's Response:

Dear Judi,

Thanks for writing to "Ask Kathy M." but I'm afraid I don't have much to contribute on this topic. I'd suggest you join one or more of the brain injury support and discussion lists "out there" on the Internet. I facilitate a few (ASSIST-TBI and BRAIN-EDU), but there are others. Parents tend to be pretty active on the lists and would probably have some information you could use. Sorry I couldn't be more help.

Yes, sports injuries are a topic of conversation in the later grades. I'm sure it's an important topic for younger children too, but many of the younger ones get so many misdiagnoses anyway, many with so-called mild injuries, such as concussions, probably end up being categories with learning disabilities.

As an aside, during a talk I gave last year, a young women (college student) approached me afterward and said, "I struggle with lots of the same things you do. Do you think it could be from "getting knocked out a couple of times" while playing college soccer? Of course, I'm not a doctor so I couldn't say. She had said her doctor told her to "rest" and she should be fine in a few months. Didn't happen. Perhaps one area of research to consider is what the General Practitioner's are telling parents whose children get "knocked out" and see if they are providing the parents with a check-list (as well as the standard advice to go home and rest, keep on the lookout for headaches, etc.), so parents know what to look for. This would have a practical benefit, as well as be potentially useful for research. By the way, have you checked out the Brain Injury Association's site (www.tbiusa.org). You might find some useful leads on there.

Hope this helps.

Kathy M.

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