Youth Concussion

Concussion in Children and Youth

The Importance of Specialized Treatment

Portrait Of Player In Female High School Soccer Team
  • The brains of children and youth are still developing. A brain injury (especially from repeat concussions) can increase the risk of youth having long-term effects. Carefully managing concussion in youth is critical.

  • Research shows children and youth can take longer to recover from a concussion than adults who suffer similar impacts.  

  • Concussed children and youth may downplay symptoms because they're eager to play again. Until fully healed, they should be closely monitored and activities managed carefully

  • Children and youth with a concussion are at higher risk for a second concussion soon after the first one. Medical clearance on the return to normal activities is essential.

  • When they suffer a second or third concussion, youth take much longer to recover. If this happens before recovering from the initial concussion, the youth may be left with long-term issues (e.g. chronic headaches or problems with memory, balance, sleep, mood). 

Concussions 101: A Primer for Kids and Parents

In this short video Dr. Mike Evans describes:

  • what a concussion is,
  • concussion symptoms that can occur,
  • steps that are followed for the safe return to activity,
  • and the importance of communication throughout the healing process.

47% of all reported sports concussions occur during HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

1 in 5 HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES will sustain a sports concussion during the season

90% of most diagnosed concussions DO NOT INVOLVE A LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS

by the Numbers

In Canadian youth ages 5-19, sports and recreation-related concussions & brain injuries are MOST COMMON AMONG 10-14 YEAR-OLDS

52% of sport-related concussions in Canadian MALES ages 10-19 happen while playing HOCKEY

36% of sport-related concussions in Canadian FEMALES ages 10-19 happen while playing SOCCER

Youth Concussion Links


Zachary Lystedt’s Story - Watch Zach’s story and you will never think about youth concussion the same way again.  Compelling, real-life evidence as to why concussion education and youth concussion recovery programs that help prevent second concussions are essential.

Helping Kids Recover from Sports Concussions - An informative article and video (scroll down) for parents/caregivers of children who play sports.

Concussion Management - A quick review of concussions - what they are, and what to do.



British Journal of Sports Medicine Sport Concussion Assessment Tool, 5th Edition - Background and rationale.

British Journal of Sports Medicine Sport Concussion Assessment Tool, 5th Edition - For those 13 years of age and older.

British Journal of Sports Medicine Sport Concussion Assessment Tool, 5th Edition - For children ages 5 to 12 years.

British Journal of Sports Medicine Concussion Recognition Tool - Helps identify concussion in children, adolescents, and adults.

Parachute - Concussion information, resources, programs, professional resources, and media articles.

StopConcussions - Tips for helping your child recover from concussion.

Concussion:  Managing Your Child's Return to Everyday Activities - An informative article giving tips to parents/caregivers from the first night of sleep to when your teen can drive again.

What Can You Do to Support Your Child's Recovery? - Will your child have a permanent disability because of his/her concussion?  This article answers that question and gives suggestions for how to talk to your child and other important people in his/her life about the concussion.

Understanding and Managing Concussion in Youth - A publication of the Montreal Children's Hospital, this brochure shares five key messages for understanding and managing concussion in youth.

Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT) - Three toolkits for: 1) Medical Professionals; (2) Parents, Players, and Coaches; and (3) School Professionals, providing training in the recognition, treatment and management of concussion.

The 7R's of Concussion Management - Outlines the injury management process for concussion:  before a concussion occurs, when a concussion is suspected, and once a concussion is diagnosed.

My Guide: Concussion - MyGuide: Concussion is a customizable guide for adults with concussion, or those wanting to learn about adult concussion. It should not be used to self-diagnose, replace medical advice, or for concussion in people under 18 years old.

SHRed | Sport Injury Prevention Research | University of Calgary - A research team is following high school athletes throughout their sport season to monitor injuries and concussions. BrainTrust Concussion Clinic will participate in the research study through Dr. Paul van Donkelaar from UBC-O.  Dr. David Rhine and another physician from the Okanagan will also participate. Local research will focus on approximately 200 high school students who sustain concussions. Anticipated start date for the study is January 2020.



Reconsidering Return-to-Play Times: A Broader Perspective on Concussion Recovery - The purpose of this study was to retrospectively assess probable recovery time for collegiate patients to return to play after concussion, especially for understudied populations, such as female and nonelite athletes.