Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2023 Oct;7(10):728-740. doi: 10.1016/S2352-4642(23)00193-1.
The term concussion has permeated mainstream media and household vocabulary mainly due to awareness regarding the risks of concussion in professional contact sports, yet it occurs across a variety of settings and ages. Concussion is prevalent in infants, preschoolers, children, and adolescents, and is a common presentation or reason for referral to primary care providers, emergency departments, and specialised trauma clinics. Its broad range of symptoms and sequelae vary according to multiple individual, environmental, and clinical factors and can lead to health and economic burden. More than 20 years of research into risk factors and consequences of paediatric concussion has revealed as many questions as answers, and scientific work and clinical cases continue to expose its complexity and heterogeneity. In this Review, we present empirical evidence for improving outcome after paediatric concussion. We consider work pertaining to both sports and other injury mechanisms to provide a perspective that should be viewed as complementary to publications focused specifically on sports concussion. Contemporary challenges in prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention are discussed alongside pathways and future directions for improving outcome.