A concussion, also called a mild traumatic brain injury, is a head injury caused by the brain being shaken around inside the skull after a direct blow to the head, or a sudden jerking of the head or neck when the body is hit. Your child didn’t have to pass out (lose consciousness) to have a concussion. Some children will have symptoms of a concussion, such as passing out or forgetting what happened right before the injury, but others won't.
Common causes of a concussion/mild brain injury are falls, sports, physical assaults, and motor vehicle collisions.
There is more risk of complications such as bleeding and/or swelling in the brain in the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury. However, complications can happen even weeks later.
Call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital right away if your child has any of these possible life threatening issues:
Make sure someone stays with your child for the first 24 hours after the concussion.
The symptoms below are common after a mild brain injury. They usually get better on their own within a few weeks:
If your child’s symptoms get worse at any time or you notice new symptoms from the list above, call your healthcare provider, or Health Link Alberta - 811. You can also call Health Link Alberta 24/7 if you have questions about concussion/mild traumatic brain injury or any of the information on this page.
Current as of: April 6, 2018
Author: Pediatrics, Alberta Health Services
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