Concussion in children - what to ask your doctor
Your child has a mild brain injury (concussion). This may affect how your child's brain works for some time. Your child may have lost consciousness for a while. Your child also may have a bad headache.
Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help you take care of your child's concussion.
What to ask your doctor about concussion - child; Mild brain injury - what to ask your doctor - child
What type of symptoms or problems will my child have?
- Will my child have problems thinking or remembering?
- How long will these problems last?
- Will all the symptoms and problems go away?
Does someone need to stay with my child?
- How long does someone need to stay?
- Is it OK for my child to go to sleep?
- Does my child need to be awakened while sleeping?
What type of activity can my child do?
- Does my child need to stay in bed or lie down?
- Can my child play around the house?
- When can my child begin to exercise?
- When can my child do contact sports, such as football and soccer?
- When can my child go skiing or snowboarding?
- Does my child need to wear a helmet?
How can I prevent head injuries in the future?
- Does my child have the right kind of car seat?
- In what sports should my child always wear a helmet?
- Are there sports my child should never play?
- What can I do to make my home safer?
When can my child go back to school?
- Are my child's teachers the only school people I should tell about my child's concussion?
- Can my child stay for a full day?
- Will my child need to rest during the day?
- Can my child take part in recess and gym class?
- How will the concussion affect my child's schoolwork?
Does my child need a special memory test?
What medicines can my child use for any pain or headache? Are ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), or other similar medicines OK?
Is it OK for my child to eat? Will my child have an upset stomach?
Do I need a follow-up appointment?
When should I call the doctor?
Giza CC, Kutcher JS, Ashwal S, et al. Summary of evidence-based guideline update: evaluation and management of concussion in sports: report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2013;80(24):2250-2257. PMID: 23508730 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23508730.
Liebig CW, Congeni JA. Sports-related traumatic brain injury (concussion). In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 688.
Rossetti HC, Barth JT, Broshek DK, Freeman JR. Concussion and brain injury. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 125.
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.