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A Parent’s Guide to Concussions

A concussion, a brain injury that causes temporary changes to how the brain works, is typically caused by a blow or jolt to the head. You might think this only happens when someone is knocked out while playing a sport, but they can happen with any head injury. Most are mild, but a concussion in children can pose serious health risks. When do concussion occur?

Concussions can happen in any sport, but they are seen most often in collision sports – like football, rugby, or hockey. They are also quite common in contact sports where a helmet is not worn – such as soccer, wrestling, and lacrosse. Concussions can occur outside of sports too, for example, if your child falls off their bicycle or skateboard and bumps their head on the street, curb, or some other hard object.


Symptoms of a concussion range from the subtle to the obvious and usually happen right after the injury, but may take hours to days to show up. The following are signs you should look for if your child has a collision during a sport or falls and hits their head anytime:

  1. Headache

  2. Nausea or vomiting

  3. Dizziness or balance problems

  4. Double or blurry vision

  5. Sensitivity to light or noise

  6. Feeling mentally foggy or dazed

  7. Trouble concentrating or remembering

  8. Slow to answer questions

  9. Changes in mood – irritable, sad, emotional, nervous

  10. Sleeping more than usual or drowsiness in general

  11. Trouble falling asleep

What to do if you suspect concussion

All concussions are serious…if you suspect your child has one they should not return to play until they see a doctor. A doctor can confirm the diagnosis of concussion, determine a need for any specialized tests, and decide if they are okay to resume normal activity. Prematurely returning to play after a concussion can lead to another concussion or even death. Your doctor will need to know about all prior concussions, including those that occurred outside of a sports setting, in order to make proper recommendations regarding returning to play and future sports participation. 


The best treatment is complete rest from all physical and mental activity. Children should be monitored often, but there is no need for wake-up checks during sleep. Loud music, computer, and television should be limited in they increase any of the symptoms your child is exhibiting. School attendance and homework may need to be modified with tests and major projects postponed until your child is feeling better. Any symptoms that get worse, or a change in behavior, should be immediately reported to your doctor or emergency medical professional. 

Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care

It can be scary any time your child is sick, but rest assured that AllKids Urgent Care is here to help guide you every step of the way with a caring and knowledgeable pediatric staff. Both our Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care and our Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care are open every day, from noon to 10 PM no appointment is necessary, just stop in and start your child on the road back to health.

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