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Pediatric Concussion

What is a concussion?

The term mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) is used interchangeably with the term concussion. A mild TBI or concussion is a disruption in the function of the brain as a result of a forceful blow to the head, either direct or indirect. This disturbance of brain function is typically not detected with a normal CT scan or MRI. A concussion results in a set of physical, cognitive emotional and/or sleep-related symptoms and often does not involve a loss of consciousness. Duration of symptoms is highly variable and may last from several minutes to days, weeks, months, or even longer in some cases.

A complete evaluation is important to determine the effects of the concussion and to develop an appropriate treatment plan. This will also be an important tool in deciding when the child is ready to return to normal activities including school, social activities and sports.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How common are concussions in children?

What Children’s National Hospital offers

What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion in children?

Recognizing a possible concussion in a child

Why is early intervention important for concussions in children?

How is a concussion in a child managed?

Important facts about concussions in children

Meet the Providers Who Treat Concussions

Departments that Treat Concussion

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Balance and Vestibular Program

The Balance and Vestibular Program at Children's National Hospital treats children experiencing dysfunction of the vestibular system such as dizziness, imbalance, delayed motor function development and vertigo.

Entrance sign in front of Children's National Hospital Emergency Department

Trauma Care

Children's National has the only Pediatric Level I Trauma Center in the Washington, D.C., area and accepts trauma patients from all geographic areas. We partner with the Maryland Shock Trauma System to provide coverage in Montgomery, Prince George's County, St. Mary's, Calvert and Charles counties.

Children’s National orthopaedic surgeon Sean Tabaie, M.D., cares for pediatric patient in cast.

Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

From sprains and strains to complex congenital conditions, Children's National Hospital offers one of the most experienced pediatric orthopaedic practices in the nation, with experience in treating all areas from head to toe.