Concussion Symptoms in Kids

Concussion symptoms in kids are the same as for older children and adults. However, very young children are often unable to name or talk about their symptoms in the same way an older child or adult can. Therefore, it is important to watch your child carefully after an injury to look for signs and symptoms of a concussion. If your child shows any symptoms of a possible concussion after a hit to the head or blow to the body, it is crucial to remove them from play immediately. Furthermore, they should not return to play until they have been evaluated and cleared by a trained healthcare provider.

Most children recover from concussions relatively quickly. However, in some cases recovery can be much slower. Many people wrongly assume that a child must be “knocked out” or lose consciousness in order to sustain a concussion. In fact, only 10% of kids with concussions are “knocked out.” Therefore, this should not be relied on as an indicator of whether a child did or did not sustain a concussion.

Since young children and babies are not able to communicate their symptoms in the same way an adult or older child can, it is important that an adult watch for signs that indicate a possible concussion. If your child does not appear to be improving after a hit to the head, you should call your doctor or seek medical care.

“Concussions can be serious injuries if not treated properly. Symptoms can affect players in all areas of their lives including their physical, emotional, and cognitive functioning. Swift and appropriate evaluation by trained sports medicine professionals is crucial before an athlete returns to play. That is why we counsel students and coaches to err on the side of caution and ‘when in doubt, sit out.’”

—Ruben Echemendia, PhD, NAN past president and director of the NHL’s Neuropsychological Testing Program

Concussion Symptoms in Kids

  • Excessive crying and/or cannot be consoled
  • Headache that does not go away
  • Change in the way that they play or act
  • Change in eating, sleeping, or nursing pattern
  • Becomes upset more easily than normal or abnormal temper tantrums
  • Appears sad or depressed
  • Lack of interest in normal activities
  • Appears unsteady or loses balance easily

If your child experiences any of the following RED FLAG symptoms, you should call your doctor or go to the emergency department IMMEDIATLEY.

  • Headache that progressively worsens
  • Seizure
  • Slurred or “drunken” speech
  • Increasing confusion
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Unequal pupils
  • Can’t recognize people or places
  • Looks very drowsy, or can’t be awakened
  • Weakness or numbness in arms or legs
  • Unusual behavior
  • Increasing irritability
  • Loses consciousness

Next, learn about concussion testing, concussion treatment, and concussion recovery.


If you believe your child has a concussion, you should seek medical attention from a concussion specialist. NOWcare at The Center, offers immediate concussion evaluation with no appointment. NOWcare is available MONDAY – FRIDAY, 9 A.M. – 4 P.M. with same day ImPACT testing, if needed. Click here for more information.

Next, Dr. Ugalde’s Concussion Clinic at The Center offers support to those experiencing longer-term concussion symptoms. Call 541-322-2214 for more information.

In addition, if your child plays high school sports in Central Oregon, your high school athletic trainer is available during school hours. Find your high school athletic trainer HERE.

Get the support your child needs to safely recover from a concussion.


We are passionate about getting Central Oregon youth the care they need when they have experienced a concussion. To this end, we follow a research-based model of management in treating concussions. Like you, our focus is on getting your child healthy, and safely returning them to the activity they love.

Additionally, we strive to provide the most current concussion information on these pages. However, if you do not find what you are looking for here, please contact us.

The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See our Terms of Use for more information.


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