Preventing and Treating Concussions

The CHOC multidisciplinary team of concussion experts can help prevent and treat concussions, as well as help patients ease back in to school and sports. Careful supervision is essential for young persons with concussions, since their brains are still developing.

In this episode of CHOC Radio, Dr. Sharief Taraman, a pediatric neurologist, Dr. Jonathan Minor, a sports medicine specialist, Jenn Ahlswede, a speech language pathologist, and Mollee Oh, a physical therapist and rehabilitation supervisor, discuss:

  • SCAT3, an assessment tool parents and coaches can use immediately after an incident occurs
  • The film “Concussion,” and how concussions affect kids and teens differently than adults
  • Recommendations for cognizant and physical rest periods after sustaining a concussion

Hear more from CHOC experts in this podcast.

CHOC Radio theme music by Pat Jacobs.

Drs. Sharief Taraman, Jonathan Romain Discuss Concussions

Even minor concussions can cause lingering symptoms, two CHOC Children’s specialists tell “American Health Journal.”

Concussions can cause physical effects like headache and nausea, as well as emotional symptoms such as irritability and easy frustration, say Dr. Sharief Taraman, a pediatric neurologist, and Dr. Jonathan Romain, a neuropsychologist.

Learn more about concussions, including prevention, in “American Health Journal,” a television program that airs on PBS and other national network affiliates that reach more than 40 million households.

Each 30-minute episode features six segments with a diverse range of medical specialists discussing a full spectrum of health topics. For more information, visit

Sharief Taraman, M.D., attended medical school at Wayne State University School of Medicine and went on to complete residency training in pediatrics and pediatric neurology at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Jonathan Romain, Ph.D., completed his pre-doctoral internship at Franciscan Hospital for Children in Boston and a two-year APA accredited fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology at Medical College of Wisconsin.

More posts about concussions:

    Kids and Concussions: Learn How to Play it Safe


    “The word concussion comes from the Latin word to shake violently. It’s a force that causes a temporary injury to the brain or spinal cord,” says Dr. Taraman. “A lot of times, people may hit their head and don’t realize it was
    a concussion.”

    Signs of concussion may include:

    • Forgetfulness
    • Confusion
    • Loss of consciousness


    If a child is injured during a sports practice, parents and coaches should make sure the young athlete stops playing. “The child needs to avoid any further hits, jolts, shakes or bumps to the head or spine,” says Dr. Taraman. “Make sure they don’t go back [in the game] and get a second hit. Not only is it unsafe, it’s going to make the recovery take longer and affect the child.”


    “The vast majority of concussions will resolve themselves and heal relatively well,” says Dr. Taraman. After being diagnosed, parents should follow the Graduated Return to Learn & Play Guidelines advised by their doctor. This includes “slowly ramping up from a total rest period of 24 to 48 hours not visiting social media, texting, etc so the brain can heal,” says Dr. Taraman.

    The guidelines include five stages of activity levels, such as:

    • No physical activity
    • Sports-specific exercise
    • Non-contact training drills


    • How many hours should a child rest after an on-field head injury: 24-48
    • What is the number of sports-related concussions that occur every year in the U.S.: 30,000
    • What is the percentage of sports-related concussions involving children between the ages of 8 and 13: 40%

    View the full feature on Kids and Concussions

    Dr. Sharief Taraman
    Dr. Sharief Taraman
    CHOC Neuroscience Institute


    Dr. Taraman is a pediatric neurologist and assistant professor at University of California, Irvine. He specializes in concussion management.

    Dr. Taraman’s philosophy of care: “I love pediatrics. My daughter was born my first day of medical school. I try to help parents understand the balance of the risks and benefits of participating in sports.”

    Wayne State University School of Medicine
    University of Michigan (B.S., Biochemistry)

    Neurology with special qualifications in child neurology

    More about Dr. Taraman | More about the CHOC Neuroscience Institute

    This article was featured in the Orange County Register on September 30, 2013 and was written by Shaleek Wilson.

    Dr. Sharief Taraman Talks with AM830’s Travis Rodgers about Sports and Concussions

    Travis Rodgers, host of the Angels AM830 morning radio show “The Travis Rodgers Show” broadcast live from Seacrest Studios at CHOC Children’s during “CHOC Week”. In this interview, Travis speaks with CHOC Children’s Pediatric Neurologist Dr. Sharief Taraman about concussions in sports, their long term effects, and how children are particularly vulnerable to serious injury. Dr. Taraman explains how concussions can happen in any sport, not just football, and how kids (and their parents) need to weigh the risks and benefits before playing contact sports.

    Enjoy the show.

    Learn more about the concussion program at CHOC Children’s.

    Click here for more CHOC Radio episodes.

    Kids and Concussions

    Concussions are a common occurrence in children – especially when engaging in play or sports. If you are a parent, teacher, or coach, it’s important to keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms indicative of a concussion. Dr. Chris Koutures, Pediatric and Sports Medicine Specialist at CHOC Children’s, describes the symptoms you should look for with kids and concussions. Click here:

    Related articles: