How To Tell If Your Child Has A Concussion | AFC Urgent Care | Portland

Signs & Symptoms To Help Determine Severity Of Injury

With an increase in media coverage surrounding concussions and traumatic brain injuries, safety guidelines are often getting updated to help protect child athletes. But even with new athletic rules, safety equipment and training for coaches and teachers, there are many sports that are still considered to be high-risk for concussions.

Since school sports are starting back up, it's important to be aware of the dangers of extensive head trauma. Below are some specific tips and warning signs to help you tell if your child might have a concussion. Please keep in mind, that if your child displays any of the symptoms listed below, they should be seen immediately by a doctor. Visiting an urgent care can be a great way to get immediate attention, as timing is very important when it comes to concussions. The next 24-48 hours are crucial.

Warning Signs That May Indicate A Concussion

  • Confusion
  • Excessive Sleep
  • Increased Lethargy Concussion Statistics
  • Slurred Speech

If your child has experienced a blow to the head, it's important to look for these warning signs for up to 48 hours after the injury. If they are occurring, it is important to have them meet with a physician for a comprehensive concussion exam.

Questions A Physician Will Ask During A Concussion Exam

  • Has there been a loss of consciousness?
  • Where (on the head) the injury took place?
  • Has there been nausea or vomiting prior to seeing the doctor?
  • Has the athlete experienced either retrograde or anterograde amnesia?

A physician will generally follow up with a neurological exam like the ImPACT assessment. This will help determine if there has been a concussion that could be causing fatigue, confusion or lethargy as a result of the injury.

What You Should Do As A Parent

As a parent, you will want to follow your physician's recommendations for rest, re-evaluation, and recovery before returning to daily activities and/or any sports. You will also want to continue observing your child for an increase in any of the symptoms listed above as Warning Signs, and report these to your physician.

The majority of head injuries do not result in a concussion. But even after a concussion has been ruled out, it is generally recommended that children take a few days off before returning to sports. It might not always be a popular course of action with young athletes, but eliminating the risk of additional injury could protect them from long-term consequences.