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CDC Issues New Advice on Concussions

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Copyright 2018 Times-World, LLC
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The Roanoke Times (Virginia)

 

CHICAGO — New children's concussion guidelines from the U.S. government recommend against routine X-rays and blood tests for diagnosis and reassure parents that most kids' symptoms clear up within one to three months.

Signs of potentially more serious injuries that may warrant CT imaging scans include vomiting, unconsciousness and severe, worsening headaches, according to the guidelines released Tuesday.

The guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are the first broad evidence-based recommendations for diagnosing and treating children's concussions, the researchers say. They evaluated 25 years of research on managing concussions in children and chose procedures with the strongest evidence of benefit.

The CDC's guidelines are for concussions from all causes, including falls, sports and car crashes. They recommend rest from physical and mental activity including school and sports immediately after a concussion, gradually resuming normal routines.

By some estimates, at least 1 million U.S. children get concussions each year although the true frequency is unknown because there is no national effort to track them and many go untreated. The CDC has proposed developing a surveillance system to fill that gap and the new guidelines, published in JAMA Pediatrics, aim to improve detection and treatment.

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