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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Do kids always lose consciousness when they get a concussion?
A: False: Most concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness (LOC). Nor does LOC indicate a more severe injury.
Q: Are Neuroimaging tests (i.e. CT scan or MRI) needed to diagnose concussions?
A: False. Concussions cannot be detected by neuroimaging tests. Concussions are typically diagnosed by careful examination of the signs and symptoms after the injury. Symptoms during a concussion are thought to be due to an energy crisis in the brain cells (neurons), causing the cells to stop functioning normally. Because of the injury, there is not enough "fuel" (sugar/glucose) for the cells to work efficiently to help you play or think. While a CT scan or MRI may be used after head trauma to look for bleeding or bruising in the brain, a scan will be normal after a concussion. A negative scan does not mean that a concussion did not occur.
Q: Should I place my child in a “dark room” with no stimulation to promote healing?
A: False. We do not recommend dark room or "cocoon" therapy for treatment since it has not been shown to decrease the time of recovery. While it is appropriate at first to avoid visual stimulation - including video games, computers, texting, television and reading - you should not go to the extreme of a dark room to enhance recovery.
To help ensure that we provide the best care for young athletes and families, Children's Hospital offers a special Concussion Line (from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday). We will promptly answer your questions or concerns. A licensed athletic trainer monitors and answers the Concussion Line. You can leave messages at anytime. We'll quickly return your call.
Concussion awareness wallet card
Children's Hospital provides concussion awareness information to the community. Order our free concussion awareness wallet card.
What parents need to know about Wisconsin's concussion law. Read the story on our blog.