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Child Neurology Consultants of Austin

Concussion

A concussion, also sometimes referred to as a TBI (traumatic brain injury), results from a direct bump or blow to the head or body causing the brain to bounce, shake, or twist inside the skull. This sudden movement causes chemical and metabolic changes that impair brain cell function.

If you ever suspect that your child may have suffered a concussion, seek medical attention immediately.

Overview of Concussions

Causes & Symptoms

Although there are many things than can cause a concussion, more than half suffered in children are due to falls. Other causes of concussions include bike and car accidents, playground injuries, or athletic injuries to the head during contact sports such as football, soccer, or hockey.

Common concussion symptoms include:

  • Loss of consciousness (but not always)
  • Headache or similar feeling of pressure in the head
  • Inability to recall events prior to and immediately following the injury
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion or sluggishness in conversation
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Problems with balance or vision
  • Drowsiness or inability to wake up
  • Restlessness or agitation

Diagnosis

If your child has suffered a head injury and you suspect a concussion, our pediatric neurologists will perform an initial neurological exam to test the following:

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Strength and sensation
  • Balance and coordination
  • Reflexes
  • Mental abilities and capacity to recall information

Close behavioral monitoring following a fall or blow to the head is also crucial in diagnosing a concussion.

Treatment

The most important factor that goes into your child’s care following a concussion is making sure they get plenty of rest. Physical activity, activities involving intense concentration such as school work, or activities that are overstimulating such as video games, should be limited while the brain heals.

Children should be monitored extremely close at home, and plan for regular office visits with us to track their progress as they recover.

(Adapted from the CDC’s Heads Up Initiative)

Resources

If you suspect your child has suffered a concussion, don’t wait to seek help. To schedule an appointment with Child Neurology Consultants of Austin at our Far West or Cedar Park offices, call (512) 494-4000 or you can request an appointment online.