Toddler or Preschool Concussion

In young children, it can be more difficult to recognize that a brain injury has occurred.
Symptoms of a concussion in toddlers and preschoolers can include:

  • Fussiness or irritability
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased activity
  • Temporary regression in previously-attained developmental skills
  • Changes in sleep patterns are common
  • Inattention and problems short-term memory can occur

If you suspect your toddler or preschooler has sustained a concussion, take the following steps:

  • Rest is the best initial treatment
  • During the recovery period, it is important to keep as normal a routine as possible with more time for naps and sleep
  • Do not allow your young child to return to extra physical activities (gymnastics and other sports, dance, etc.) outside of their normal play until after their symptoms have disappeared
  • THEN, gradually reintegrate more vigorous activity and monitor for symptoms like complaints of head pain or tummy aches, increased fussiness, or sleepiness
  • Parents, daycare providers, and preschool teachers should carefully monitor the child after the injury
  • If you have concerns, follow up with your primary care physician or pediatrician. If you do not have a primary care physician or your primary care physician does not provide concussion management, Salina Regional Health Center has several physicians trained in concussion management:
    • Drs. Gary Williams, Garrett Hooker and Brad Irvin, COMCARE Ohio (785) 825-8221
    • Drs. Ben Dolezal and Wendy Dinkel, Lindsborg Family Health Care Clinic, (785) 227-3371
    • Drs. Kraig Bertram and Rebecca Martin, Salina Pediatric Care, 501 S. Santa Fe, Suite 100, (785) 825-2273
    • Dr. Matthew Pyle, Salina Regional Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, 520 S. Santa Fe, Suite 200, (785) 452-7366
    • Salina Pediatric Care, 501 S. Santa Fe, Suite 100, (785)825-2273

Seek Emergency Evaluation:

  • If any of the symptoms get significantly WORSE rather than better
  • If new symptoms appear after a few days
  • If the child starts vomiting
  • If the child is difficult to arouse

Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion