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Kids take longer to recover from concussions than adults

PHOENIX – Youthful vitality doesn’t always mean kids heal faster from concussions according to new research from Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.

The findings show that children and adolescents who suffer concussions heal slower than their adult counterparts.

“On average, an adolescent will take 10 to 14 days to recover from a concussion,” said Javier Cárdenas, medical director at Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center.

Cárdenas attributes the longer recovery time to the fact that youthful minds are still developing and said the younger a person is, the longer it takes.

“The younger you are, indeed the longer it takes,” he said. “So while our high school athletes may take 10 to 14 days on average, our youth athletes may take even longer.”

Youth athletics are often responsible for concussions in kids and Cárdenas said when someone suffers a concussion it is critical that they do not suffer a second during recovery.

“If they sustain a second injury before recovering from the first, there can be devastating consequences such as bleeding of the brain, swelling of the brain and rarely death,” Cárdenas said.

He recommends parents and athletic trainers be vigilant in looking for signs of concussions, such as loss of consciousness, headaches and confusion in children.

It’s also important to make sure not to rush kids back into sports or physical activity during recovery of a concussion, Cárdenas said.