Recovery and natural progression of symptom change remain inadequately defined in children after a concussion. The objective of this study is to explain the natural progression of symptom change and recovery by age group and sex after injury recovery. 

This is a planned secondary analysis of a prospective multicenter cohort study. The setting for this research was nine pediatric emergency departments in Canada, and the participants were aged 5-18 years with an acute concussion. The main outcome of the study was symptom change, and the secondary outcome was recovery. The participants included a total of 2,063 children (60.7 male).

For children in the 5-7 years age group, symptom change occurred the first week after injury. Buy the end of two weeks, 75.6% of symptoms had improved. For children in 8-12 years and 13-18 years age group, symptom change was significant in the first two weeks but flattened during 2-4 weeks. By the end of four weeks, 83.6% and 86.2% of symptoms, respectively, had improved for 8-12 and 13-8 years, age groups. However, most adolescent girls had not recovered by week 12.

The research concluded that symptom improvement and recovery occurs in the first two weeks for children and first four weeks in preadolescents and adolescents. Female adolescents, however, had delayed recovery.