Symptoms of a concussion generally resolve within about seven to 10 days, according to the AAP, but parents should seek additional medical help if symptoms worsen.
"Worrisome signs for us are a progressively increasing headache, if a child is unable to move an arm or leg, worsening symptoms, repeated throwing up," said Halstead. "Those are things that should be evaluated sooner." Other symptoms include feeling lightheaded or confused or losing consciousness.
The guidelines also suggest that retirement from contact sports should be considered for an athlete who has had multiple concussions or who has suffered post-concussion symptoms for more than three months.
Which sports are riskiest for concussions? For organized team sports, concussions were most likely in football, as well as basketball, soccer and ice hockey; for individual and leisure sports, concussions were more likely during bicycling, playground games and snow skiing, the researchers found. To reduce injuries, the AAP recommends taking preventive steps, such as using protective equipment and padding goalposts.
From 2001 to 2005, there were an estimated 502,000 emergency department visits for concussion among U.S. kids aged 8 to 19 -- about half of which were sports-related -- and 8- to 13-year-olds accounted for about one-third of the visits, according to Dr. Lisa Bakhos and colleagues at Brown University, Injury Prevention Center and Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, who analyzed information from two national databases for the study.
Although organized team sport participation declined from 1997 to 2007, emergency department visits for concussions increased among both young children and teens, the study found.
The study and the guidelines will boost awareness of the seriousness of concussions, said Dr. Gillian Hotz, direct
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