PURPOSE: Preschool-aged children have a high rate of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Anecdotally, caregivers of young children describe symptoms not typically associated with TBI. The objective of this study was to preliminarily describe symptoms reported following TBI in an outpatient sample of preschool-aged children. METHODS: Retrospective chart review was completed of the first specialty clinic visit by 28 children ages 3 through 5 years with TBI (32% mild, 50% moderate, 18% severe) to identify post-injury symptoms elicited by caregiver interview including querying of symptoms listed on the Acute Concussion Evaluation (ACE) plus an open-ended request to describe any other symptoms. RESULTS: Visits occurred on average 38 days post-injury. Caregivers endorsed typical post-concussive symptoms, with headache being most common. In addition, caregivers described other symptoms not captured by the ACE which were grouped into the following categories: Appetite Changes, Behavioral Dysregulation, Decreased Engagement, Disrupted Sleep, Enuresis, Increased Dependence, and Stomachaches. CONCLUSIONS: Caregivers of preschool-aged children with TBI endorse that young children experience many typical post-concussive symptoms but also a range of other symptoms which may not be typically associated with TBI. Additional work is needed to determine whether specialized evaluation tools and educational materials may be useful for this age group.
- Preschool child
- traumatic brain injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation