I Think My Child Has a Concussion. Now What?

A concussion is a brain injury. Any child or teen who gets hit in the head, face, neck, or body has a chance of getting a concussion. Concussions can happen to anyone from falling, during sports, or car accidents.

Symptoms

Concussion symptoms may change over time. Most symptoms will go away in 1-4 weeks.

COMMON SYMPTOMS YOU MAY SEE:

  • Confusion
  • Blank stare
  • Stumbling when walking or balance problems

COMMON SYMPTOMS CHILDREN/TEENS MAY REPORT:

  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Throwing up
  • Bright lights hurting the eyes
  • Loud noises hurting the ears
  • Feeling tired
GO TO THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT RIGHT AWAY IF YOUR CHILD/TEEN HAS ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS:
  • Loss of consciousness (“blacking out”)
  • Throwing up often
  • Seizures
  • Severe headache that is not getting better
  • Neck pain/tenderness
  • Seeing double
  • Weakness/numbness in arms/legs
  • Slurred speech
Caution symbol
Recovery

Children and teens should rest completely for the first 24-48hrs. After this time, they can slowly follow step-by-step recommendations for “return to play” and “return to learn”.


Resting completely for longer than 24-48 hours may lead to slower recovery from concussion.

Recovery image children on playset

Any activity or sport that could lead to the child/teen hitting their head or body must be avoided during the recovery process. 

Hear from Peers

Hear from others who have had a concussion and what it was like for them!

Hear from Peers face with long hair
Alice's Story
Hear from Peers face male

Mason's Story

Hear from Peers face curly hair

Michael's Story

Learn more about our other child health initiatives

This infographic was brought to you by ECHO & ARCHE

© ECHO Research and ARCHE, 2022. This resource may not be modified, reproduced or distributed without prior written consent of ECHO Research and ARCHE. Contact shannon.scott@ualberta.ca

This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The information contained in this video/multimedia content (the “Multimedia”) is provided on an “as is” basis and is offered for general information and educational purposes only; it is not offered as and does not constitute professional advice. There is no guarantee about the accuracy, applicability, fitness or completeness of the information found in the Multimedia. This information is provided without warranty of any kind, and the University of Alberta, its agents, employees, and students disclaim responsibility to any party for any loss or damage of any kind that may arise directly or indirectly as a result of the use of or reliance on the information contained in the Multimedia.

Physical treatments can include physiotherapy, prescribed exercise plans, strengthening exercises, massage, and more. 

Psychological treatments can include counselling or talk therapy, supportive therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, mediation, and more. They can be provided on a one-on-one basis or in a group setting. 

Disclaimer

The information contained in the video/multimedia content (the “Multimedia”) is provided on an “as is” basis and is offered for general information and educational purposes only; it is not offered as and does not constitute professional advice. There is no guarantee about the accuracy, applicability, fitness or completeness of the information found in the Multimedia. This information is provided without warranty of any kind, and the University of Alberta, its agents, employees, and students disclaim responsibility to any party for any loss or damage of any kind that may arise directly or indirectly as a result of the use of or reliance on the information contained in the Multimedia.

These resources may not be modified, reproduced or distributed without prior written consent of ECHO Research. Contact shannon.scott@ualberta.ca.