Any blow to the head, face, or neck, or a blow to the body that jars your head, can cause a concussion. A concussion is a brain injury that can’t be seen on routine X-rays, CT scans or MRIs. Symptoms of a concussion include dizziness, headache, balance problems, fatigue, and sensitivity to light or noise. For most children, concussion symptoms resolve within two to four weeks with proper management, but some concussions can have lasting effects that continue well beyond four weeks.
- To help prevent concussions, you can minimize the chances of a bad fall or accident, and minimize the chances of head injury if a child does fall.
- In the car, always use an age-appropriate car seat
- Avoid high-risk activities like ATVing.
- Use a safety gate, screwed into the wall, at the top of staircases to prevent a fall.
- Keep your kids away from trampolines, or use them responsibly.
- Only use playgrounds with soft ground surfaces like rubber or wood chips.
- Avoid bunk beds, or avoid the top bunk until your child is old enough to use it safely.
Managing a concussion
- If you suspect your child may have a concussion:
- A short period of rest is recommended, followed by a slow return to regular activity. This approach should be monitored by a medical professional.
- Take a break from sports and activities that have a risk of repeat head injury.
Monitor your child for worsening symptoms for 48 hours after their injury. If you notice any of the following ref flag symptoms, see a doctor immediately:
- Severe headache
- Vomiting more than once
- Double vision
- Increased drowsiness
- Weakness in arms or legs
- Seizures or convulsions
CSL Blog: Harley’s Story--the lasting impacts of childhood concussions