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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.

non-sports-related concussion

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.

sports-related concussions

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.

concussion evaluation

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 involved in sports, you may want to consider a new, free assessment available at Dayton Children’s. 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. Learn more