Pediatric Glasgow Coma Scale

Author: Sam Ashoo, MD
Updated: 7/3/2018

Pediatric Glasgow Coma Scale

Also see the card on Pediatric Blunt Head Trauma (PECARN Study).

This variation of the adult Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is for children age <2 years old

  • Total = 15 points
  • GCS score most useful when stated as individual sub-scores and total: E4/V5/M6 = 15
  • Should be applied in the assessment of children ≤2 years old in the PECARN Pediatric Head Injury decision tool 1

Head Injury Classification

Glasgow Coma Scale Score Head Injury Severity
≥13 Minor head injury
9-12 Moderate head injury
≤8 Severe head injury


Points Behavior
4 Open spontaneously
3 Open to verbal stimuli
2 Open to pain only
1 No response


Points Behavior
5 Coos, babbles
4 Irritably cries
3 Cries in response to pain
2 Moans in response to pain
1 No response


6 Moves spontaneously / purposefully
5 Withdraws to touch
4 Withdraws to pain
3 Flexor posturing to pain (decorticate posturing)
2 Extensor posturing to pain (decerebrate posturing)
1 No response


  1. Borgialli DA, Mahajan P, Hoyle JD, et al. Performance of the Pediatric Glasgow Coma Scale Score in the Evaluation of Children With Blunt Head Trauma. Acad Emerg Med. 2016;23(8):878-84. (Validation study) PubMed
  2. Teasdale G, Jennett B. Assessment of coma and impaired consciousness. A practical scale. Lancet. 1974;2(7872):81-4. (Original development) PubMed
  3. James HE. Neurologic evaluation and support in the child with an acute brain insult. Pediatr Ann. 1986;15(1):16-22. (Original development) PubMed