Helpful tips to get parents ready for their child’s doctor appointment
Identifying a possible concussion early on can help parents remove their child from play and prevent further injury. However, if concussion symptoms persist, medical attention is necessary. The Mayo Clinic recommends patients see a doctor within one to two days after a concussion. Here are a few tips on preparing for a concussion appointment with your child’s doctor.
Before the Appointment
When making an appointment after a concussion, ask what activities your child should avoid in the meantime. Doctors might recommend avoiding activities that exacerbate post-concussion symptoms, such as sports or activities that require extensive focused attention, like computer work or video games.
Preparing for a Concussion Appointment
Key information to bring to the appointment includes:
- A detailed timeline of what happened
- Any symptoms your child has been experiencing and how long they’ve been occurring.
- Key medical information, including other medical problems for which you or your child are being treated and any history of previous head injuries.
- The names of any medications, vitamins, supplements or other natural remedies your child is taking.
Establishing a Good Patient-Doctor Relationship
Whether you’re taking your child to your family practitioner or a new doctor at urgent care, there are several things you can do to foster a good patient-doctor relationship. Open communication should be the foundation of the relationship and you should feel like you can tell your child’s doctor about their medical history and any fears you have. Respect goes a long way and you and your doctor should both feel like their concerns and recommendations are being taken seriously.
Questions to ask your Doctor
Every patient is different, and so is every concussion. Use the appointment to ask your doctor about your child’s specific situation and how their daily routines might need to account for the injury. Be sure to factor in any pre-existing medical conditions and medications that they’re regularly taking.
- Is it a concussion? What kinds of tests are needed? What treatment approach do you recommend?
- What is the risk of future concussions? What is the risk of long-term complications?
- How soon will symptoms begin to improve?
- What can I do to help while my child recovers?
- When will it be safe to return to competitive sports, exercise, school or work?
- My child has other medical problems. How can they be managed together?
- Should a specialist be consulted? What will that cost, and will my insurance cover seeing a specialist? You may need to call your insurance provider for some of these answers.
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?
Concussion.org aims to be the most trusted place in the world to learn about one of the most common—yet least understood—forms of traumatic brain injury. For more of the latest concussion information and research, check out our News and Concussion Resources pages.