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Sports Concussion in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is a sports concussion?

A sports concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that happens during a sports activity. It can happen during almost any sport but is most common with football, hockey, and boxing. Your child's head may come into contact with another player, the player's equipment, or a hard surface. Even what seems like a mild blow can cause a concussion. It is important to follow return to play and return to sports protocols to prevent serious injury.

What signs and symptoms of a concussion may happen right away?

What other signs and symptoms may develop?

How is a concussion diagnosed?

Your child's healthcare provider will examine your child and ask about his or her symptoms. Your child may need any of the following:

What can I do to help my child manage a concussion?

Concussion symptoms usually go away without treatment within 2 weeks. The following may be recommended to manage your child's symptoms:

What is a return to play protocol?

This is a system to help officials decide if a player can go back in after a suspected concussion. Healthcare providers who are trained in sports medicine examine players who have a blow to the head. They look for certain symptoms, such as confusion, dizziness, and nausea. These symptoms may mean a concussion happened and it would be dangerous to go back in.

What is a return to sports protocol?

This is a plan to help your child build up to playing at the level from before the concussion. Work with healthcare providers and your child's coach or athletic director to create the plan. It may take months for your child to move through the following steps:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

How can I help my child prevent another sports concussion?

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

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my child's doctor?

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