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Study suggests girls fare worse after concussions than boys

Concussions have been making headlines in the last few years. We have read about them often in the context of the National Football League, but head injuries have also become a major issue for the youth of Texas and the rest of the country. The more we know about serious brain injuries, the more important it has become to protect children from suffering head trauma that could have lifelong consequences.

Interestingly, a recent study suggested that certain kids may suffer more serious concussions than others, which could change the way parents, coaches and others approach sports safety. The study, conducted by a specialist in pediatric sports medicine, suggested that girls suffer from worse symptoms after a concussion than boys.

After comparing symptoms reported by girls ages 10 to 18 to those reported by boys of the same age, the physician found that girls reported experiencing more severe symptoms afer a concussion. They also took more than three weeks longer to recover than boys.

The results, however, are not conclusive. Because all of the children the doctor studied were patients at a concussion clinic, there is a good chance that they suffered more serious injuries than other kids who might have suffered a less severe concussion -- and therefore not gone to a clinic specifically for concussions. There is also the possibility that girls articulate their symptoms differently than boys.

Although there are some questions that still need to be answered, the results of this study are interesting in the least. Hopefully it will prompt further research into why boys and girls differed in their symptoms and what that means for medical treatment. Today, however, it is extremely important for parents, coaches, teachers and others to be aware of concussion symptoms. If a child may have suffered a concussion, he or she should receive medical attention quickly.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Girls Suffer Worse Concussions, Study Suggests," April 10, 2014

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