Children have a higher risk of concussions than adults. Their skulls are softer, and their brains are still developing. When a child experiences a head injury—whether from playing sports, goofing around with their friends or hanging upside-down from the monkey bars—they may incur a mild traumatic brain injury such as a concussion.

Parents should be proactive in recognizing the signs of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in kids. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a set of guidelines to help parents and care providers identify and treat concussions. So, what are the symptoms of concussions in children, and what is the proper treatment?

Identifying pediatric concussions

If your child suffers a head injury, be on the lookout for:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Impaired movement
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Difficulty concentrating

Concussions, especially mild ones, often go undetected. While mild TBI may not cause severe medical consequences, they can lead to long-term problems like impaired functioning.

Treating TBI in children

If you believe that your child may have a concussion, take them to their doctor or a hospital as soon as possible. The CDC recommends using X-rays and CT scans to identify concussions, rather than blood testing or routine imaging. When a child is diagnosed with a concussion, they should rest for a period of two to three days. Recovery time varies for each patient, but most children improve within three months.

Parents of children who suffered concussions may also wish to seek legal help. The medical bills associated with brain trauma can be prohibitively expensive. In addition, many parents have to take time off work to care for their children, causing them to lose wages. If a child’s brain injury was caused by another party’s negligence, parents may choose to take legal action to recover damages and hold the negligent party accountable.