Specialists at Dayton Children’s provide expert care for concussions. A concussion is a brain injury that can cause serious complications.
signs and symptoms
If your child has a concussion, they might have some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Appears dazed or stunned
- Confused about events
- Answers questions slowly
- Repeats questions
- Can’t recall events prior to the hit, bump or fall
- Can’t recall events after the hit, bump or fall
- Loses consciousness (even briefly)
- Shows behavior or personality changes
- Forgets schedule or assignments
Immediate care is essential if your child experiences any of the following concussion symptoms after receiving any kind of blow to the head:
- An intense headache
- Repeated vomiting
- Convulsions or seizures
- A change in alertness level
- Extreme sleepiness
- Confusion or agitation
- Slurred speech
- One pupil— the dark part of the eye — that is larger than the other
If you experience any of these symptoms within 24 hours of a head injury, you need to go to the emergency room, even if you felt okay at the time of injury.
Sometimes, the symptoms of a concussion are not as intense or do not appear until a day or two after the injury. These symptoms can include headache, irritability, difficulty concentrating and excessive sleepiness. If your child experiences these symptoms following a non-sports-related injury or is age six or younger, we recommend that you make an appointment with your child’s primary care physician first. If needed, he or she can make a referral to the Dayton Children’s neurology department, and we will schedule an appointment with one of our neurologists as soon as possible.
If your child experiences these symptoms following a sports-related injury and is older than six, you can call the Dayton Children’s sports medicine center directly at (937) 641-3939 for an appointment.
Physicians evaluate concussion symptoms by conducting a thorough exam. In some cases, they may order an imaging test such as a computed tomography (CT) scan. Rest and avoiding physical activity are usually the best medicine for a concussion, but pain relief medication may be prescribed as well. Kids who sustain concussions usually recover within a week or two without lasting health problems. If your child is still having concussion related problems three or more weeks after his/her concussion, we recommend making another appointment with your PMD. A Neurology referral may need to be made at that time.
free baseline concussion testing
If your child is age 10 or older and involved in sports, you may want to consider a new, free assessment available at Dayton Children’s. Called the Axon Sports Computerized Cognitive Assessment Tool (CCAT), this baseline test measures your child’s cognitive function before a concussion occurs. In the event that your child does get a concussion, scores from the baseline test will help our team measure cognitive changes and know when it is safe for your child to return to their normal activities. The CCAT takes only about 10 minutes to complete, and is available at several Dayton Children’s locations. Learn more