Concussion in Children: What Parents Need to Know

After a child experiences a concussion, parents often bounce from doctor to doctor to find a solution for their child’s symptoms. Frequently, the child is released from care too soon and with the diagnosis that they’re back to pre-accident status. Unfortunately, the child is far from their typical self. When anyone experiences a concussion, the brain has experienced a great trauma, and the trauma is even greater for children. A parent’s observation of their child’s behavior is a valuable tool in helping any doctor diagnose the problems from concussion. Nobody knows their child like the parents, they are the only people who have seen the patient before and after the trauma. Yet many doctors dismiss parental observations, even though they are vital. The most common comment I’ve heard for years in my practice?

“I just want to have my old child back.”

I urge you to never ignore these warning signs. They are the true indicator of the damage from a concussion and if it’s been appropriately treated. Unless the cranial bone movement has been returned to normal, it is impossible for the brain to heal fully.

Top 4 Post-Concussion Symptoms Parents Should be Aware of:

1. Changes in Personality

One of the cranial faults displayed in concussion is a superior greater wing of the sphenoid on the right side. (Stick with me here!) In everyday language, this is when the sphenoid bone (the bone that the brain “sits” on) is pushed up on the right side, which over-stimulates the right brain. This is the “emotional” or “artistic” side of the brain and can lead to common concussion symptoms such as “anger outbursts” or “depression.” Often times doctors mistakenly treat this with anti-anxiety or anti-depression medication. I had a case where a female college soccer player had multiple concussions and was treated with many anti-anxiety medicines. (As a side note, she had to stop playing soccer and had dropped off of the Dean’s list at U.C. Irvine.) Since beginning cranial movement treatment, she is off all medications (under the direction of her treating doctor) and back on the soccer team and Dean’s list.

2. Academic Performance

Ability to perform in school is routinely compromised after a concussion. Inability to concentrate is very common. Reading difficulties become a daily challenge due to eye-tracking issues caused from the drop of the lesser wings of the sphenoid bone. Memory issues are also a problem due to a decreased flow of blood to the frontal and mid-brains, which are responsible for short-term memory. Most parents report these problems to me on the first visit.

3. Physical Issues

Changes in physical ability are common as well. I hear parents state that their child is more “clumsy” since the concussion, or “uncoordinated,” Fine and gross motor skills are controlled by the brain and are often be affected by concussion.

4. Headaches

Many parents see that their child experiences constant headaches or headaches that are triggered by cognitive (schoolwork) and/or physical exertion. Many parents report that their child now has a “hazy” or “glossed over” look in their eyes. These symptoms are very common with concussions. I am thankful for parents who take an active role in the treatment their child receives. Don’t settle for anything less than what is expected when it comes to your child’s well-being and health. The problems from a concussion can have a devastating effect and impact the rest of their life if not taken care of properly. If your child is experiencing these issues, please schedule your free consultation, so we can start the healing process, together.


Maria CaligiuriConcussion in Children: What Parents Need to Know