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New caregiver resource for pediatric concussion

August 4, 2020

The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) has issued a family version of the Living Guideline for Diagnosing and Managing Pediatric Concussion to complement the clinical practice version first released in September 2019. The living guideline approach is the first of its kind in pediatric concussion and ensures guidelines stay current with monthly literature searches to support new evidence.

The family version of the guideline is designed for use by parents/caregivers and offers a series of recommendations to help children and adolescents with concussion recover safely and return to their everyday life.

In many cases caregivers do not know when and who to see if they suspect a concussion or what to expect when supporting a child or adolescent’s recovery from concussion. The family version of the guideline addresses these, and other initial questions caregivers might have about concussion such as:

  • What should I do if a child/adolescent may have a concussion?
  • What type of health care professional can diagnose concussion?
  • When should I take them if a concussion is suspected?
  • What will happen during a medical assessment for concussion?
  • What information should I ask for before leaving the doctor’s office or Emergency Department?

It also addresses complicated questions about concussion recovery such as:

  • When can youth safely begin gentle physical exercise and return to school following a concussion?
  • When can children/adolescents see their social networks and use screened devices after a concussion?
  • When can an adolescent drive after a concussion?
  • What are prolonged or persistent concussion symptoms and who is at risk?
  • If a child/adolescent is having difficulties at school after a concussion, what are strategies that may help?
  • Should children/adolescent have baseline concussion testing?

The family version of the Living Guideline for Diagnosing and Managing Pediatric Concussion is a great resource to inform parents/caregivers about pediatric concussion diagnosis and treatment. This resource offers important information, resources and tools to help parents/caregivers detect possible concussion and navigate post-concussion care for their children/adolescents.

Judy Gargaro, Program Director | ACQUIRED BRAIN INJURY

The family version of the guideline mirrors in question and answer format the recommendations covered in the healthcare professional version. It includes keys definitions and examples to help parents and caregivers navigate their child’s concussion care. The ONF Living Guideline for Diagnosing and Managing Pediatric Concussion will be updated as research supporting change in clinical practice becomes available. The family version covers all the same sections and domains as the original guideline, including:

  • Section A: Concussion Recognition, Initial Medical Assessment, Management  
  • Section B: Managing Concussion Symptoms
  • Section C: Biomarkers

Healthcare professionals are encouraged to share this resource with parents and caregivers as it promotes greater understanding of concussion care and management. With the help of the guideline, users will be able to better understand the implications of pediatric concussion.

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