Concussion Guidelines

Updated: Sep 24, 2018
  • Author: David T Bernhardt, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Guidelines Summary

Recommendations on the diagnosis and management of mild traumatic brain injury in children were released on September 4, 2018, by the CDC. [72, 73]  Key recommendations include:

  • Refrain from routinely imaging children to diagnose mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Weigh multiple risk factors for further injury against the risks associated with radiation exposure and possible sedation when evaluating a child with possible mTBI.
  • Validated, age-appropriate symptom scales in diagnosis should be used.
  • Assess risks for sustained recovery. Risks include history of mTBI or other brain injury, severe symptoms immediately after the injury, and personal characteristics and family history, such as learning difficulties and family and social stressors.
  • Provide instructions about returning to activity appropriate for patients' symptoms.
  • Counsel patients and their parents/caregivers to return gradually to non-sports activities after no more than a 2-3 days of rest.