Concussion symptoms in children

Head injuries are not uncommon for children, especially children who are learning to walk or who play sports. But how do you know when it is a concussion? Despite what movies may tell you, a big goose egg on the head is not the best way to diagnose a concussion.

Concussions are serious medical injuries and need to be evaluated by a medical professional at an emergency room after they occur. Young athletes can sometimes be difficult to diagnose because they feel pressure to stay in the game and not report their symptoms. Always encourage your child to be honest with you about how they feel.

Identifying concussions in infants and toddlers can also be tricky because they may not be able to articulate their symptoms. If you have a toddler who hits their head, look for nonverbal clues.

Look for these concussion symptoms if your child experiences a blow to the head:

Physical

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Poor balance
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Ringing in ears
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Vacant stare

Cognitive

  • Feel in a "fog"
  • Feel "slowed down"Teenager
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slowed speech
  • Easily confused

Emotional

  • Inappropriate emotions
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Nervousness/anxiety
  • Lack of motivation
  • Feeling more emotional than usual

Energy

  • Fatigue
  • Excessive sleep
  • Sleeplessness
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