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Post Concussion Syndrome in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is post-concussion syndrome (PCS)?

PCS is a group of symptoms that affect your child's body, thinking, and behavior after a concussion. Concussion symptoms usually last up to 4 weeks. PCS means your child still has symptoms after 4 weeks. The risk for PCS is higher if your child has a mood or anxiety disorder.

What are the signs and symptoms of PCS?

Your child may have any of the following from weeks to over a year after the concussion:

How is PCS diagnosed?

Your child's healthcare provider will ask about your child's symptoms. Tell the provider when symptoms began and if anything makes them better or worse. Your child may need any of the following:

How is PCS treated?

Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms. Your child's healthcare provider will tell you how long to give pain medicines to relieve your child's headache. Your child may develop a condition called a rebound headache if pain medicine continues for too long.

What can I do to manage my child's PCS?

What can I do to help my child prevent another concussion?

A concussion that happens before the brain heals can cause a condition called second impact syndrome (SIS). SIS can cause your child's brain to swell. Even after your child's brain heals, more concussions increase the risk for health problems later. The following can help prevent another concussion:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

Seek immediate care if:

When should I call my child's doctor?

Where can I find more information?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. 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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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.