What Parents Need to Know About Concussions & Kids

child getting eyes checked by doctorChildren are curious and full of energy, and that drive to explore the limits of their bodies and their environment is often a recipe for a lot of spills, falls and tumbles. Falling down is a normal part of growing for a child, but what if that fall involves a hit to the head?

While a head injury doesn’t mean you need to rush to the best pediatric neurology center in your area, it may warrant a visit to your family doctor. A concussion is a serious injury, so you should take special care in the hours and days that follow a head injury to look for symptoms that point to an injury worse than a bump or bruise.

What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?

The symptoms of a concussion typically manifest a little while after a head injury, but can also sometimes take a few weeks to become noticeable. While it’s normal for a head injury to produce a bump from swollen tissue and discoloration from bruising, a concussion has a much more pronounced set of signs and symptoms.

Concussions are common injuries in children that occur that occur from an impact to the head or whiplash.

Some of the things to look for if your child has recently experienced a head injury include:

  • Confused or slurred speech
  • Lethargy
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Difficulty standing, walking or balancing
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Dilated (larger than normal) pupils

What Should I Do If My Child Has a Concussion?

Any time your child experiences some type of trauma to their head, it’s a good idea to visit your family doctor to make sure they’re fine. If your child has symptoms of a concussion, then your regular doctor might refer you to a pediatric neurologist for additional tests or treatments.