What Are Concussion Symptoms in Children And Teens?

Letizia Le Fur/ Onoky

Concussions are a common injury for active children and teens.  A concussion is a form of brain injury. They can be caused by a blow to the head, or a serious shaking that has rattled the brain inside the skull.  If your child or teen has received a hard blow to the head or is demonstrating any of these symptoms, get them checked out by a doctor right away.  Since concussions are a type of brain injury, not properly treating a concussion in youth does have serious long-term negative potential possibilities.

If the doctor finds that your child does indeed have a concussion, it is important that you follow through with the doctor's plan for your child to recover.  You will want to work with your child's school and extracurricular activities to make sure your child can take the time needed to recover.  You may also want to return to this list of symptoms throughout the recovery time to see if your child is experiencing a return or increase of concussion symptoms.

List of Concussion Symptoms:

  •  Dizziness Everything from seeing stars to feeling like they have been spun around several times.
  • Confusion  Maybe they can't remember what happened before or after the event that caused the concussion.  Perhaps your child doesn't understand the questions you are asking them as well as they usually do.
  • Headache  The brain injury may actually be felt as pain in the head.  This is an especially common symptom throughout the recovery period.
  • Slurred Speech  This symptom will be present depending on which part of the brain was injured.  If any of the parts related to speech was injured, then speech will be slow or slurred.  
  • Emotional or Moody  A great deal of emotional regulation happens in different parts of the brain.  This symptom may show up in your child as being increasingly irritable, sad, depressed, or just plain moodiness.
  • Can't Sleep or Tired All The Time  Sleep regulation is also largely controlled in the brain.  Combine that with an increased need for rest to recover from almost any injury, and your child may be very tired all the time, or unable to sleep.
  • Loss of Balance  This may be increased clumsiness, dizziness, or just an off-kilter feeling.
  • Nausea  That sick-to-the-stomach feeling is also a common nausea symptom.  It can range in severity from feeling a little nauseated to actual vomiting.
  • Light or Noise Sensitivity  Your child may want to avoid bright or even normally lighting.  Loud noises and a lot of background noise can also be irritating in some cases of concussion.  With this symptom, your child will want to find ways to avoid this type of stimulation, as it is a warning sign that for this particular concussion, the brain can only process so much sound or light information right now.

Fortunately, these symptoms should go away as your child recovers from their concussion.  Taking the time to heal up right and recover from a concussion ensures that your child will have the best possible outcome for their mind and body.   Since the brain is the main body organ used for learning, be sure to keep in touch with your child's school about the progress of your child's concussion recovery.

Concussion recovery often takes much longer in children and teens.  Since this is a young persons brain development and recovery, taking the right steps necessary is critical for their brain to be in the best possible shape for the rest of their life.

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