Concussions

Also known as: traumatic brain injury, TBI, mild traumatic brain injury, mild TBI

What are concussions?

Concussion is the temporary abnormality in the way the brain works (with or without a brief loss of consciousness) that occurs after a traumatic jolting of the brain following a blow, bump or shaking of the head (injury). Children have head injuries while playing sports, and after falls, car, and bicycle accidents. Concussion is the least damaging form of head injury and most children will recover completely though it can sometimes take many weeks.
 

What causes concussions?

The brain is a soft organ (with some firmer and some softer parts) surrounded by fluid (protecting and preventing the brain from moving too much) within the hard shell of the bony skull. In the young child (and even in adolescents) the head is relatively larger compared to the rest of the body When the head is suddenly hit (or shaken violently) the brain moves or shifts in the skull (some parts moving faster than others) and, can bang against the front or sides of the boneyard skull. This causes brain damage (shearing) as the different brain tissues move, plus bruising of the brain can occur as it collides with the bone of the skull. Repeat concussions cause cumulative damage to the brain.
 

What are the symptoms of concussions?

A concussion is diagnosed by the symptoms that occur, usually immediately but can occur hours or even days later. In older children, these commonly include nausea, headache, dizziness, confusion, lose consciousness, slurred speech, fatigue, and exhibit a variety of other symptoms related to being dazed, "out of it", like difficulty concentrating or thinking. Babies may not move as much, refuse to eat, be floppy or cry more than usual.
 

What are concussion care options?

Physical and mental rest until all symptoms have disappeared is the primary treatment for a concussion. This not only involves avoiding physical exertion, but also activities that are mentally taxing or otherwise stressful. Medication may also be helpful for alleviating particular symptoms.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 9:33:35 AM


Upcoming Events

2nd Annual Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Sports Health Symposium

Longevity in Sports Performance, Considerations from Elementary to Post Professional

This course will give the athletic trainer and physical therapist an overview of athletic development models and orthopedic/rehabilitative management of several conditions that influence athletic performance.

Learn more.

2018 Pediatric Autism Symposium: Ensuring Long Term Outcomes in Children Birth to Five

This one day course will include educational sessions, case studies, and panel discussions that highlight evidence-based information for managing Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other related disabilities for children ages birth to 5. Learn more.

Register Online

Weekly Support Programs

​Swimming Lessons

Knowing how to swim saves lives. Swimming and water safety lessons are offered by a trained instructor for babies as young as 6 months to adolescents up to 21 years. Learn more.

Brain Wellness: Yoga for Kids

Participants will learn to optimize neurological potential across the developing age and care continuum, to provide other treatment modalities to optimize results, to provide options for our patients and families, to provide options for our patients and families, and more! Learn more.

ACL Injury Prevention Training Group Class

A training program designed to correct biomechanical risk factors of an ACL injury, focused on improving strength, power, and agility and led by Sports Health Performance Specialists. Program consists of 4-10 participants and offered once or twice a week, over 6 weeks.  Learn more.

Register Online

Shoulder & Elbow Maintenance Program

This training program is designed to help maintain shoulder and elbow strength, endurance, and flexibility to withstand the rigors of a lengthy season and optimize sports performance, led by Sports Health Performance Specialists. Program consists of 4-10 participants and is offered once or twice a week, over 6 weeks.  Learn more.

Register Online

Dance Injury Prevention Group Class

A training program designed to improve strength, range of motion, balance and neuromuscular control to enhance performance and reduce the risk of dance related injuries. Program consists of 4-10 participants and offered once or twice a week, over 6 weeks. Learn more.

Register Online

Yoga for Kids

Yoga is a great way to get children active in a non- competitive environment. This one-day-a-week class is available for patients currently receiving therapy at one of our Nicklaus Children’s outpatient center locations, their siblings and children residing in our community. Learn more.

Off-Season Sports Conditioning Group Class

This program is designed to prepare athletes for their individual sports season to ensure optimize sports performance and prevent injury. Athletes will focus a periodization of 3 weeks strength and endurance phase, followed by a 3 week power phase led by Sports Health Performance Specialists. Program consists of 4-10 participants and is offered once or twice a week, over 6 weeks.  Learn more.

Register Online

Running Injury Prevention Group Class

A training program designed to correct biomechanical risk factors of a runner and improve strength, power, and running mechanics, led by Sports Health Performance Specialists. Program consists of 4-10 participants and offered once or twice a week, over 6 weeks. Learn more.

Register Online

From the Newsdesk

Mason's Story: Nicklaus Children's Makes the Difference for Child with Traumatic Brain Injury
Seeing a baby boy intubated, hooked up to a maze of machines, and with IV pumps snaking out of his tiny arms is an incredibly heartbreaking and terrifying experience. The Nicklaus Children’s staff was not only caring and friendly, but knowledgeable and explained everything to us in detail. Meeting the neurosurgery team brought us great comfort because they were confident and calm—they won our trust immediately.
Talkin' Kids Health: Individual Education Plans
Learn about Individual Education Plans with Dr. Reshma Naidoo, Neuropsychologist and Neurorehabilitation Specialist at Nicklaus Children's Hosptial.