Care of Children with Concussion (mTBI)
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), also called concussion, affects millions of children each year. CDC’s Pediatric mTBI Guideline seeks to improve the care of this injury.
An mTBI can lead to short- or long-term problems affecting how a child thinks, acts, learns, and feels. CDC created the Pediatric mTBI Guideline, based on the latest science, to improve the health and safety of this vulnerable population.
The CDC Pediatric mTBI Guideline consists of 19 sets of clinical recommendations. These recommendations are designed for all healthcare providers who care for pediatric patients with this injury.
Recommendations and Tools to Improve Care
Key practice-changing recommendations from the CDC Pediatric mTBI Guideline include:
- Do not routinely image pediatric patients to diagnose mTBI.
- Use validated, age-appropriate symptom scales to diagnose mTBI.
- Assess for risk factors for prolonged recovery.
- Provide patients with instructions on returning to activity, customized to their symptoms.
- Counsel patients to return gradually to non-sports activities after no more than 2–3 days of rest.
CDC also developed free tools to help healthcare providers use the Pediatric mTBI Guideline and resources for patients and their families.
These tools include:
- A checklist on diagnosis and management pdf icon[133 KB]
- Quick guides to key recommendations
- A letter to schools to be filled in by healthcare providers pdf icon[148 KB]
- Caring for Your Child’s Concussion (patient discharge instructions) pdf icon[1.07 MB]
- How Can I Help My Child Recover After a Concussion? (Recovery tips for parents) pdf icon[778 KB]
Do you know the latest recommendations on pediatric MTBI?
Read the CDC Pediatric mTBI Guideline
- CDC Guideline on the Diagnosis and Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Among Childrenexternal icon
Read the Systematic Review (A summary of the evidence that forms the basis of the CDC Pediatric mTBI Guideline)
- Diagnosis and Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Among Children: A Systematic Reviewexternal icon
Visit cdc.gov/HEADSUP for more information about CDC’s Pediatric mTBI Guideline or to learn more about concussion and other brain injuries.