A type of mild traumatic brain injury, a concussion can occur any time the head forcibly moves back and forth, often during a blow to the head or fall. Concussions and other mild to acute traumatic brain injuries can cause damage to the brain’s cells, even triggering chemical changes that have lasting effects.
If your child has sustained a concussion, there are plenty of short- and long-term concussion treatment for children options. Keep reading to learn more about how to identify a concussion and the best treatment options and care for your child’s mild traumatic brain injury.
Top signs your child has a concussion
There are a few key signs that your child has suffered a concussion. Remember that although some individuals lose consciousness after sustaining a mild traumatic brain injury, this is not true for all cases. A concussion could still be present in a child who has not fully lost consciousness.
A few signs and symptoms that typically present themselves right away after a fall, injury, or severe bump to the head include:
- Your child starts to feel generally unwell
- They may develop a headache, become confused, start saying things that don’t make sense, or not remember what happened
- Your child could become dizzy, have trouble walking, or develop problems with their balance
- They may have blurry or double vision
- They could have nausea or start vomiting
Although many symptoms start occurring directly after a concussion, a few can take a few hours to set in. These might include a severe headache that slowly gets worse, seizures, or vomiting. If your child develops any of these concussion symptoms later on, passes out, or you notice anything else worrisome, head to the ER or contact your healthcare provider right away.
Treatment options for mild concussions
When it comes to healing from a mild traumatic brain injury, each case is different. Working with a cognitive specialist to help your child find a balance between rest and activity can be a good start. Some symptoms may interfere with your child’s activities and typical schedule. It’s a good rule-of-thumb to start with less strenuous activities first and work up to regular scheduled activities within a few months.
This simple guide can help your child return to normal cognitive functioning following a concussion.
1 to 2 days following a concussion: Rest is the most important at this stage. Be sure your child cuts down as much as possible on screen-time, however. Video games, TV, and social media scrolling can actually exacerbate symptoms.
A few days to a week following a concussion: Returning to a few light activities is encouraged by this time. Monitor your child’s progress carefully and ensure they’re taking plenty of breaks or implementing lighter workloads depending on the severity of their symptoms. They should still avoid strenuous or stressful activities at this time.
Two weeks to a month. Depending on your child’s symptoms, they can go back to their regularly scheduled activities around this time. However, they should still ease into sports and other intense activities to avoid the possibility of further injury. Consider having them work with an athletic or physical trainer if returning to a specific sport.
For more information on programs that can help with concussions and mild or acute traumatic brain injury symptoms, contact The Hartman Center.