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Concussion In Children
is a mild brain injury. It is usually caused by a bump or blow to your child's head from a fall, a motor vehicle crash, or a sports injury. Your child may also get a concussion from being shaken forcefully.
Common signs and symptoms:
Your child may have symptoms right away, or days after the concussion:
- A mild to moderate headache
- Drowsiness, dizziness, or loss of balance
- Nausea or vomiting
- A change in mood (restless, sad, or irritable)
- Trouble thinking, remembering things, or concentrating
- Ringing in the ears
- Short-term loss of newly learned skills, such as toilet training
- Changes in sleeping pattern or fatigue
Call 911 for any of the following:
- Your child is harder to wake than usual or you cannot wake him or her.
- Your child has a seizure, increasing confusion, or a change in personality.
- Your child's speech becomes slurred.
- Your child has new vision problems.
Seek care immediately if:
- Your child has a headache that gets worse or he or she develops a severe headache.
- Your child has arm or leg weakness, loss of feeling, or new problems with coordination.
- Your child will not stop crying, or will not eat.
- Your child has blood or clear fluid coming out of his or her ears or nose.
- Your child is an infant and has a bulging soft spot on his or her head.
Contact your child's healthcare provider if:
- Your child has nausea or vomits.
- Your child's symptoms get worse.
- Your child's symptoms last longer than 6 weeks after the injury.
- Your child has trouble concentrating or dizziness.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Manage your child's concussion:
Usually no treatment is needed. Concussion symptoms usually go away within about 10 days, but they may last longer. The following may be recommended to manage your child's symptoms:
- Watch your child closely for the first 24 to 72 hours after the injury. Contact your child's healthcare provider if the symptoms get worse, or if your child develops new symptoms.
- Have your child rest from physical and mental activities as directed. Mental activities are those that require thinking, concentration, and attention. This includes school, homework, video games, computers, and television. Rest will help your child to recover from a concussion. Ask your child's healthcare provider when he or she can return to school and other daily activities.
- Do not allow your child to participate in sports and physical activities until his or her healthcare provider says it is okay. These activities could make your child's symptoms worse or lead to another concussion. Your child's healthcare provider will tell you when it is okay for him or her to return to sports or physical activities. Ask for more information about sports concussions.
Prevent another concussion:
- Make your home safe for your child. Home safety measures can help prevent head injuries that could lead to a concussion. Put self-latching gates at the bottoms and tops of stairs. Screw the gate to the wall at the tops of stairs. Install handrails for every staircase. Put soft bumpers on furniture edges and corners. Secure furniture, such as dressers and book cases, so your child cannot pull it over.
- Make sure your child is in a proper car seat, booster seat, or wears a seatbelt every time he or she travels. This helps to decrease your child's risk for a head injury if he or she is in a car accident.
- Have your child wear protective sports equipment that fits properly. Helmets help decrease your child's risk for a serious brain injury. Talk to your healthcare provider about other ways that you can decrease your child's risk for a concussion if he or she plays sports.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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