Treatment will depend on your
child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the
A child who has a concussion should
not play sports or do other activities until a healthcare provider determines that
safe to do so. Ask your child's healthcare provider for this information in writing
give a copy to your child's coach. In an age-appropriate manner, explain to your child
why this limit on sports and activities is important. A child who gets a second
concussion before symptoms of the first concussion have gone away can end up very
severe brain injury. Athletes with concussion are gradually and slowly allowed to
Treatment may include:
- Ice on the area
- Antibiotic ointment and a bandage
- Stitches in the scalp to close a
- Being watched for a period of time for
In some cases, a child may need to
stay in the hospital. They may be watched more closely for problems. A child may also
- Medicine to cause them to relax or
- Help with breathing from a breathing
machine (mechanical ventilator or respirator)
- Diagnostic tests
- Referral to a traumatic brain injury
A child may also need monitoring
for increased pressure inside the skull. This is called intracranial pressure (ICP)
monitoring. A head injury may cause the brain to swell. There is only a small amount
room for the brain to swell inside the skull. This causes pressure inside the skull
increase and can lead to brain damage.
ICP can be measured in 2 ways:
- Place a small hollow tube (catheter)
into the fluid-filled space in the brain (ventricle).
- Place a small hollow device (bolt)
through the skull into the space just between the skull and the brain.
In both cases, the ICP device is
inserted by the healthcare provider either in the intensive care unit (ICU) or in
operating room. The ICP device is then attached to a monitor that gives a constant
reading of the pressure inside the skull. If the pressure goes up, it can be treated
right away. While the ICP device is in place, your child will be given medicine to
comfortable. When the swelling has gone down and there is little chance of more
swelling, the ICP device will be removed.
Talk with your child’s healthcare
providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all treatments.