A concussion is any type of injury to the head that results in a change from how your brain normally functions. Concussions can happen in many different ways. Some ways include sports injuries, bike accidents, car accidents or falls. Concussions occur when the soft tissues of the brain bang against the inside of the skull. When this happens, nerves can be injured and blood vessels can be damaged.
A concussion can affect everyday activities. It can make it difficult for children to attend school and complete required assignments. It can make it challenging to interact with friends and family members.
Children may lose consciousness after a concussion, but blacking out does not mean a concussion is any more or less serious than when a child does not lose consciousness. Typical concussion symptoms include:
Any head injury can cause a concussion. If your child falls or bangs his or her head and shows signs of a concussion, he or she should stop his or her activity and be seen by a doctor right away. Getting a diagnosis is important, as children often need rest, medicines and extra help in school while they have concussive symptoms. It is very important to avoid activities that could cause a second concussion when your child is healing from a concussion.
Doctors at Riley at IU Health perform the following exams and tests to diagnose concussion:
At Riley at IU Health, neurologists, pediatricians and emergency medicine doctors diagnose concussion. Treatments for concussion differ depending on your child’s specific symptoms. Treatments include:
With the proper care, most children usually recover from a concussion in a few weeks.
Visit the links below to learn about support groups and resources for concussion.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention address ways adults can prevent, treat and minimize the risk of concussion in children, especially in sports.
This website from the American Academy of Pediatrics includes information about the symptoms, care and lingering effects of concussion in children as well as prevention strategies.
The neurology team at Riley at IU Health is conducting research on how school principals, doctors and other healthcare providers can better communicate about the needs of children with concussion.