what is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury (or mild TBI). It happens when a blow to the head or an injury makes the head move back and forth with a lot of force. This causes chemical changes in the brain and sometimes damage to the brain cells.
Kids and teens who follow their health care provider's recommendations usually feel better within a few weeks of the concussion.
Someone with a concussion might be knocked out (this is called a loss of consciousness). But a person doesn't have to get knocked out to have a concussion.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion include:
- blurred or double vision
- dizziness, balance problems, or trouble walking
- confusion and saying things that don't make sense
- being slow to answer questions
- slurred speech
- nausea or vomiting
- not remembering what happened
- not feeling well
Symptoms of a concussion usually happen right away, but can show up hours or days after an injury. A teen with a concussion may:
- have trouble focusing
- have learning or memory problems
- have a headache that gets worse
- have sleep problems
- feel sad, easily upset or angered, or nervous
If your child has been diagnosed with a concussion, call your health care provider or go to the ER if your child:
- has a severe headache or one that gets worse
- has a seizure
- pasess out
- has other symptoms (such as continued vomiting) that worry you
These could be signs of a serious or worsening concussion, and your child might need treatment in a hospital.
Each person with a concussion heals at their own pace. It's important to find a balance between doing too much and too little.
At first, your child needs to cut back on physical activities and those that require a lot of concentration. Then, he or she can start trying these activities again. Symptoms don't have to be completely gone for your child to add activities. But if symptoms interfere with an activity, your child should take a break from it. He or she can try it again after a few minutes or longer, or try a less strenuous version of the activity.
Treatment plans are created by healthcare providers to help patients recovery and return to activities safely. For more details, speak with your doctor or learn more about our concussion management program.
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