Concussions can be especially dangerous for young children because they may not be able to let others know how they are feeling. Below is information on the common symptoms of concussion in children, when to go to the hospital, and tips for healing.
Concussion symptoms in children may include:
- Listlessness, tiring easily
- Irritability, crankiness
- Change in eating or sleeping patterns
- Change in the way they play
- Change in the way they perform or act at school
- Lack of interest in favorite toys
- Loss of new skills, such as toilet training
- Loss of balance, unsteady walking
- Confusion or if the child is easily distracted and cannot do normal activities
- Stares blankly
- Delayed answering of questions
- Slurred speech
- Stumbling or clumsiness, uncoordinated or cannot walk a straight line
- Cries very easily or becomes angry easily or exhibits extreme emotions
- Problem with memory, repeats self, repeatedly asks questions, unable to recall words or objects
- Loss of consciousness
Call the doctor or EMT immediately if any of following symptoms appear:
- A headache that will not go away and is severe
- Not waking up; very sleepy
- Repeated vomiting
- Personality change
- Loss of coordination
- Weakness in arms or legs
- Ringing in ears
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights
For infants & toddlers:
- Any of the signs and symptoms listed above.
- Will not stop crying and cannot be consoled.
- Will not nurse or eat.
When in doubt it's always better to have an experienced medical professional who understands traumatic brain injury check out the injured person. Our article on when to go the hospital gives good advice for when it's appropriate to seek medical advice.
Tips for Healing After Concussion — Children
Parents and caretakers of children who have had a concussion can help them heal by:
- Having the child get plenty of rest.
- Making sure the child avoids activities that could result in a second blow or jolt to the head — such as riding a bicycle, playing sports, or climbing playground equipment — until the doctor says the child is well enough to take part in these activities.
- Giving the child only those drugs that the doctor has approved.
- Talking with the doctor about when the child should return to school and other activities and how to deal with the challenges the child may face.
- Sharing information about concussion with teachers, counselors, babysitters, coaches, and others who interact with the child so they can understand what has happened and help meet the child’s needs.