Does your child enjoy playing outside with friends, playing rough, or playing sports? If you
answered yes to any of these questions or if you feel like your child may be at risk for concussion, this article is for you. Please continue reading to learn more about concussion symptoms, what to do if you suspect your child has a concussion, how to best care for a child with a concussion and learn about second impact syndrome.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to replace medical advice, please consult your
pediatrician or primary care physician if your child has suffered a physical trauma or blow to the head. Please call 911 if your child is in critical condition or in the case of an emergency.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a generally mild type of brain injury and typically result from a blow, bump, or injury to the head or body. Look out for common signs and symptoms that your child may have a concussion.
If you suspect your child has sustained a concussion it is best to have them evaluated by a
healthcare professional as an additional precaution to rule out a more serious injury to the brain, neck, or spine.
If you want to learn more about what happens in a concussion, how kids get concussions, how they are diagnosed, and more check out this article from Kids Health: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/concussions.html
Common Concussion Symptoms Include:
Headache or feeling pressure in the head
Trouble with balance
Agitated by light or sound
Tiredness, fatigue, hazy, foggy or groggy
Not feeling right or feeling down
Signs of Concussion That Can Be Observed:
Memory loss or trouble recalling events prior to the injury
Appears dazed or stunned
Easily distracted or forgets instructions
Slow to answer questions
Changes in mood or behavior
How to Treat Mild Concussions at Home (After Being Evaluated by a Healthcare Professional):
What is Relative Rest?
Relative rest is limiting activities that require thinking and mental concentration
especially in the first 2 days after sustaining a concussion.
Complete rest to include laying in a dark and quiet room and avoiding all stimuli is not
recommended as it is not shown to aid in the recovery from a concussion. To learn
more, check out our resources.
It is important to gradually return to routine activities that do not place your child at
high risk of sustaining another concussion. However, it is important to monitor your
child’s symptoms while they are completing tasks that require exertion or mental
concentration. If their symptoms worsen with an activity, it should be stopped and the
child should either rest, try another activity, or try a modified version of the original
activity as long as symptoms do. not continue to worsen.
If you have questions about timelines to return to sport or high-risk activities, you
should consult with your primary care doctor.
Headaches are a common symptom of concussions and pain is typically treated with
pain reliever like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and more), or
aspirin. Again, it is always best to consult with your doctor or pharmacist for safety
before providing pain relievers to your child.
Concussion Signs and Symptoms:
Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/concussion/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355600#:~:text=Physical%20and%20mental%20rest&text=Relative%20rest%2C%20which%20includes%20limiting,recovery%20and%20is%20not%20recommended
This article was written by Olivia Hall. Olivia is a Doctor of Physical Therapy Student at Hanover College and President of her class. She currently lives in New Mexico but frequently travels and loves to go on hikes with her dog.
Skyrocket Pediatric Therapy Foundation (Skyrocket) does not provide medical or legal advice or services. Skyrocket provides general information about developmental disabilities and developmental therapies as a service to the community. The information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. Skyrocket has not validated and is not responsible for any information, events, or services provided by third parties. The views and opinions expressed in blogs on our website do not necessarily reflect the views of Skyrocket.