How do I tell if my child has sustained a concussion?

orthopedic doctor in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ

How do I tell if my child has sustained a concussion?

Let’s begin by identifying what a concussion is:

A concussion may be caused by a blow, bump, or jolt to the head or by any fall or hit that jars the brain. This “invisible” injury disrupts the brain’s normal physiology which can affect mental stamina and function, causing the brain to work longer and harder to complete even simple tasks. A concussion may involve loss of consciousness (being “knocked out”), but the majority do not. Ultimately, ALL concussions are serious because they are brain injuries!

A concussion can affect a child in many different ways: physically, cognitively, emotionally, and by disturbing sleep.

Each case of a suspected or known concussion should be evaluated by an experienced multidisciplinary team to effectively diagnose, treat and manage the injury, and advise on when it is safe to return to play or learning.

You can’t see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after an injury, or may not appear or be noticed until hours or days after the injury.

It is important to watch for changes in how your child is acting or feeling, if symptoms are getting worse, or if he or she just “doesn’t feel right.” If your child or teen reports one or more of the symptoms of concussion listed below, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek the advice of a healthcare provider knowledgeable in concussion management.

Children and teens are among those at greatest risk for concussion.