Concussions | Testing and Diagnosis

How is a concussion diagnosed?

There’s no way to see a concussion. So instead, the doctor will look for signs of injury to your child’s brain function. He or she will examine your child and getting a full medical history. The doctor may also check your child’s balance, coordination, and ability to think and process certain types of information. Your child may also need other tests depending on his or her symptoms.

Who needs baseline testing?

If your child plays sports, a baseline test can measure your child’s normal brain function and balance before any injury. This baseline measure can then be used as a comparison to help diagnose a concussion after an injury.

We recommend that all student athletes—especially those who play high-concussion-risk sports like ice hockey, football, rugby and soccer—get baseline testing before the start of the season.

Here at Boston Children’s, we offer a baseline testing system called ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) to track a child’s progress and get the child back to the same point he or she was at before the concussion.

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