Concussion in Children

Concussion in Children

Ron Savage, Ed.D.

Information on concussion in children helps parents, coaches, athletic staff, school nurses and educators recognize the early and late signs and symptoms of concussion in children. It explains how the severity of a concussion or mild brain injury is measured and addresses the child’s question of “When can I play again?” Guidelines are included for accommodations when the student returns to school.

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Full Description

Tips and information on concussion in children identifies early and late signs and consequences of concussions in students. It includes a detailed 8 week Post Concussion Checklist to monitor physical, cognitive and behavioral symptoms and recovery. The checklist is ideal for use by parents, educators, athletic staff, and school nurses.

Item CIC
Pages 8
Year Fourth edition, 2010


Ron Savage, Ed.D.

Dr Savage specializes in the impact of brain injury on behavior and learning in children and adolescents. His international recognition as author and presenter is based on practical experience as a rehabilitation clinician, educator and school administrator.

A leader in advocacy for children with brain injuries, Ron founded the Pediatric Task Force of the Brain Injury Association. He is a national leader in developing model programs and has given special attention to recognizing the effects of concussion among children, the consequences of brain injury upon behavior, and designing educational programs for students with brain injuries in the community.


This tip card helps parents, coaches, child care workers, and school staff...

  • recognize signs and consequences
  • measure severity of a concussion
  • return the child to play safely
  • help the student in school

Concussion in Children

What Should You Watch For?
  • Early signs of concussion
  • Late signs of concussion
Measuring the Severity of a Concussion
When can I Play Again?

Returning to School after a Concussion

Tips for parents

Better Safe Than Sorry
Post-Concussion Check List for Children
  • Physical changes
  • Thinking and learning changes
  • Behavior changes


Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

Concussion in Children

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Children frequently bump and bruise their heads.

Infants and young children may fall down stairs or from high places at home (counter tops, high chairs, beds, fire escapes, decks). They also fall from playground equipment (swings, jungle gyms). Some are seriously injured by being violently shaken.

Elementary school-age children may have concussions from bicycle crashes, playground falls, recreational and sports activities (skating, skiing, gymnastics) or in car crashes.

Older children often have concussions in sports activities (football, soccer, basketball), car crashes, and assaults.

A concussion results in immediate chemical changes within the nerve cells of the brain. This is like a neurochemical cascade that happens in the first few seconds after the injury. It often results in retrograde amnesia (difficulty remembering events after the concussion) and anterograde amnesia (difficulty remembering events before the concussion). A concussion can cause bruising, swelling and bleeding in the brain and skull.

When children are taken for emergency care, they may or may not show any immediate signs of a concussion. Most of the time, they are discharged home with their family. Hospital emergency departments frequently give concussion guide sheets to help families monitor their child for the next few days. Follow-up with the child's physician is recommended.

What should you watch for?

Early signs of concussion include...

  • confusion
  • agitation
  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • nausea

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