Symptoms of Concussion in Children: A blow to the head or the body that causes an injury to the brain is known as a concussion. Parents, caregivers, and sports coaches should pay attention to this type of injury because a child’s developing brain is at far higher risk than an adult’s brain. In general, most sports injuries including concussions can go away after a brief period of time. Therefore, a child with a mild to moderate concussion recover completely.

What are the signs and symptoms of concussion?

Symptoms of concussion in children may include confusion, memory problems, difficulty paying attention, feeling dazed, groggy, sluggish, and fatigued; blurry or double vision, dizziness or balance problems; nausea or vomiting; feeling pressure inside the head or headache; sensitivity to noise or light; changes in personality and behavior, irritability, mood changes and sleeping problems.

What should a child do?

Healing after a head injury may take time. Therefore, a child who has suffered a head injury should take rest for a day or two – restrain from both physical and mental activities. However, they can resume activities once the symptoms gradually wane off.

What should a coach do when he sees a child has a concussion?

Concussions can cause symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo, loss of balance, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. A child can develop concussions without losing consciousness. A blow to the body that jerks the head can also lead to a concussion. Therefore, a complete awareness of concussion is a must for a coach. Therefore, the coach must not allow the child until they get clearance from a sports medicine physician. Formal return-to-sport plans are recommended.

What about resuming school?

When a child returns to school after a concussion, he or she may require some adjustments in the class – such as shortened school day and a lighter course load. If the child complains of headaches after activities such as reading or writing or walking, jogging, or playing, then he should take a break immediately from school. Once the child feels better, he or she can resume routine activities for a shorter period of time and then gradually increase the activity levels as they or feel better. Slow and steady return to school – learning, playing and mental activity is a key to improvement.

How to Protect your child from head injuries?

Insist your child to wear protective gear or equipment during cycling and other sporting activities. They should wear an appropriate and properly fitted helmet to prevent head injuries. However, it is not always possible to prevent head injuries in spite of using the best protective equipment. Parents should instruct their children not to get involved in sporting activities if their children suspect that they have concussions.

Bottom Line

Symptoms of concussion in children: In some cases, a concussion may turn out to be a serious brain injury with bleeding inside and outside of the brain. When the pressure inside the brain increases, it can become life-threatening. Therefore, if your child develops slurred speech, convulsions or seizures, or changes in behavior – restlessness, confusion, or agitation; extreme drowsiness; or inability to recognize places or people, see a pediatric neurologist immediately. The other symptoms that may warrant immediate medical attention include vomiting, loss of consciousness, one pupil is larger than the other; inability to be woken from sleep; inability to be consoled; unstoppable crying, and extreme drowsiness.

Depending on the extent and severity of the problem, symptoms, and comprehensive physical and neurological examination, a child neurologist will determine the seriousness of the concussion and the safety measures the child has to take before returning to activities and school.