A quick and simple test can identify concussions in children as young as 5 with an astonishing rate of success, according to a new study. So why aren’t people talking about it more?
The King-Devick test, as it’s called, was originally developed in the 1970s as a way to detect dyslexia. But a new study out of New York University’s Langone Concussion Center and published in the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology has found convincing evidence that it can also detect when athletes of all ages suffer a concussion — and that it can do so even better than other commonly used tests.
What’s most notable about the King-Devick test is its simplicity: It requires only a stopwatch (read: smartphone) and a few printed-out pieces of paper, and it can be administered by someone with no professional medical experience whatsoever in less than two minutes.
Yes, that means moms and dads can do it themselves whenever they’re concerned about that last hit their child took on the field.
The test requires children to read a series of numbers from left to right off of three different pieces of paper as fast as they can, while someone else times them for each one. Those times are then tallied together and compared to the time it took the child to complete the test earlier in the season.
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