Is it just a harmless bump on the head — or something more serious? Our pediatric concussion experts have the experience, equipment and medical know-how to tell the difference. We take a team approach to assess and treat mild traumatic brain injuries and concussions in children of all ages.
A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury that occurs when someone’s brain moves around inside the skull or bangs against it. Although the injury may seem mild, concussions in children can affect health, thinking ability, behavior/mood, school performance and social interactions.
A concussion can be caused by:
- a fall, especially in babies, toddlers and young children
- a sports injury
- a crash involving an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), bike or automobile
- a physical attack, a school fight or child abuse
- any major head trauma, blow to the head
With plenty of rest and reduced activity, kids often recover on their own from a concussion in a week or two. Concussions in other children might require weeks or even months of therapy, rehabilitation, and taking a break from school, sports and other physical and cognitive activities. One of the most important factors for a successful recovery is easing back in to regular activities slowly over time, one activity at a time, with guidance from your health care provider.
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Fax: (717) 481-8776
- photo ID
- medical and pharmacy insurance cards
- preferred pharmacy name and phone number
- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
- Patient Registration (PDF)
- Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
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Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
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A concussion directly involves the brain and can affect how kids feel, behave and function in school. We know concussions can be scary, whether your child is an infant or adolescent. That’s why a pediatric Neurologist provides assessment, referrals and treatment of concussions in children twice monthly at Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Lancaster.
For comprehensive concussion care, patients are referred to the Concussion Care team at nearby Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.
Concussion Care at duPont Hospital for Children
The Concussion Program at duPont Hospital for Children includes team members from multiple specialty areas, including:
Of course, which team members your child or teen sees will depend entirely on your child’s needs. Our Concussion Program care team will develop a personalized treatment program based on your child’s symptoms and changes in functioning. But in most cases children with concussions just need lots of rest from physical and mental activities before carefully returning to normal activities.
During the recovery time, your child or teen should rest and avoid physical activities including physical education (gym class), competitive or contact sports, exercise, ball sports, weight training, running, recess, bike riding and wheeled activities (to name a few) until cleared by a doctor. Your child may also need to stay away from loud, bright, crowded places and limit activities that require a lot of thinking — including school, work and driving.
Some concussions in children require specialized diagnostic, monitoring and treatment techniques. Rarely, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or other radiology (or medical imaging) tests may be needed to check for more severe damage. If so, you can get medical imaging tests at the hospital. Some younger children with concussion may need to be monitored overnight in the hospital.
After your child or teen is injured it’s important to follow up with a health care provider.
Make sure your child is seen by a concussion specialist if your child:
- required an Emergency Department visit or hospitalization
- has symptoms that continue for more than a few days
- has a history of a previous concussion
Under new laws in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, children with concussions are required to have medical clearance from a physician before returning to play.
To schedule an appointment or learn more about concussion care at Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Lancaster contact us at (717) 481–8771.