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A concussion is a mild injury to the brain that disrupts how the brain normally works. It’s usually caused by a sudden blow or jolt to the head, although children often bump or hit their heads without getting a concussion. One does not need to be knocked out or lose consciousness to have experienced a concussion. Another term for concussion is mild traumatic brain injury (mild TBI). Even though a concussion might be called a “mild” injury, it still must be taken seriously because it is an injury to the brain.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion can include headache, dizziness, vomiting, confusion, acting dazed, forgetting what happened before or after the injury and being “knocked out."
For immediate medical attention, CALL 911.
Serious medical problems after a concussion are rare but can occur. For this reason, a healthcare provider should always be involved in a young person’s care after a concussion.
In the first one to two days after the injury, you should watch your child very carefully. You can give acetaminophen (Tylenol) for headaches, but no other medications should be given during this time without healthcare provider’s approval. You should get IMMEDIATE medical help if your child displays:
Recognizing the unique challenges faced by students recovering from a concussion, Children’s Colorado Concussion Comeback program was developed as a comprehensive resource to help parents and teachers guide students back into the school environment.
At Children’s Colorado, we see thousands of youth each year who have suffered a concussion. Our Concussion Program services comprehensive range of services from medical consultation and appointments for concussions, to helping students return to school and academics, to helping decide when athletes can return to playing sports.
Most young people will recover completely from a concussion within one to two weeks. But, some youth can take longer to recover than others.
Common symptoms seen after a concussion are listed below. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider about any changes that you see in the following areas:
Behavioral or emotional
Reasons to consider seeing a concussion specialist include:
As part of the Concussion Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, evaluation of a child with a suspected concussion may include:
If your child is diagnosed with a concussion, we’ll help develop a treatment plan to address school issues, support recovery and manage changes in behavior or adjustment. Experts from our Concussion Program will also provide referrals to specialists in education, physical therapy, behavioral health, neurology, neurosurgery and other medical areas when needed.
The Concussion Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado evaluates and treats children and teenagers who have sustained concussions and other types of mild traumatic brain injuries. Learn more about our Concussion Program.
A concussion can be scary and stressful for both you and your child. It’s important to remember that most symptoms will last for only a short time. The following suggestions should be helpful as your child is healing from the concussion:
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - Pediatric, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation