Concussion Testing

If your child hits their head against something, whether it’s playing a sport or roughhousing at home, you should watch for signs of a concussion. At Newport Children’s Medical Group, in Newport Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, and Laguna Beach, California, the team of expert pediatricians provides expert concussion testing and personalized treatment plans to help your child recover from a concussion safely. If you’re concerned about a potential concussion, call Newport Children’s Medical Group today.

Concussion Testing Q & A

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury that occurs when a sudden and forceful blow to the head causes the brain to move back and forth in the skull. When the brain collides with the inside of the skull, it can cause chemical changes in the brain, and in some cases, damage to the brain cells.

In most cases, children get a concussion while playing sports like football, hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. They might also get a concussion during a car or bicycle accident or if they slip and fall.

What are the warning signs of a concussion?

Concussion symptoms often develop gradually and are subtle. If your child has a head injury and loses consciousness, call Newport Children’s Medical Group to schedule a same-day appointment.

If your child hits their head and doesn’t show immediate symptoms, keep an eye on them and look for signs, such as:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced concentration
  • Memory loss

Younger children might become more tearful or have more frequent temper tantrums. You might also notice that they lose their balance or changes in the way they play, eat, or sleep.

What happens during concussion testing?

The pediatricians at Newport Children’s Medical Group provide comprehensive concussion testing. They begin by reviewing your child’s injury, symptoms, and medical history. Then they perform a neurological examination, checking your child’s:

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Strength
  • Vision
  • Hearing

Your pediatrician also uses imaging tests like CT scans and MRIs to examine your child’s brain and skull for signs of a concussion. This information also helps them evaluate the severity of your child’s injury.

How is a concussion treated?

Concussion treatment depends on the severity of the injury. For mild concussions, your pediatrician may recommend physical and mental rest to allow time for your child’s brain to heal. Your doctor can also recommend safe medication for symptoms like headaches.

As time passes, your pediatrician provides advice on how and when to introduce moderate activities and how to eventually return to regular activities. If your child plays a sport, they need to stop training and participating until your doctor confirms that it is safe for them to return to the team.

In rare but severe cases, your pediatrician might recommend surgery or another medical procedure to treat a brain injury.

Call Newport Children’s Medical Group today if you think your child might have a concussion.