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What Are The Warning Signs Of A Concussion In Children?

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For adults, self-diagnosing a concussion is not terribly challenging. When it comes to children, however, a concussion may be more difficult to recognize, and the child may not be able to accurately describe how they are feeling. For this reason, it is critical that parents, teachers, coaches, and other caregivers are familiar with the signs and symptoms of pediatric concussion and what to do if one is suspected. In addition to providing routine pediatric care in Collin and Denton counties, the expert team at Health Services of North Texas is proud to offer pediatric urgent care in Wylie, TX for patients experiencing certain conditions, including pediatric concussion. Use this helpful information to better understand the signs of concussion in kids, how to treat children with concussions, and when a trip to the ER may be needed.

What is a concussion?

A concussion refers to a brain injury that typically results from blunt force to the head, such as a fall, blow, or hit. However, concussions can also be caused by a quick jolt or forceful shaking, including those experienced during whiplash. Concussions can be mild or severe, and the symptoms of a concussion may take several hours or even days to appear. Common signs and symptoms of a concussion in adults include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Balance problems
  • Memory problems
  • Concentration problems
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dilated, unresponsive, or asymmetric pupils

How long does a concussion last?

In the majority of cases, concussions are temporary and resolve with rest. However, it can take days, weeks, months, or sometimes years for the brain to fully heal and the symptoms of a concussion to resolve completely. During this period, it is essential that patients allow their brain plenty of time to rest and recover, taking extra care to avoid a subsequent injury.

What are the signs of concussions in kids?

The signs and symptoms of a pediatric concussion are fairly similar to a concussion in adults, though a child’s lack of communication skills can make their concussion much more challenging to identify. This is particularly true for toddlers and, of course, babies. However, there are some important warnings signs that may mean your child has suffered a concussion, including:

  • Sleepiness
  • Drowsiness
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Irritability
  • Constant crying
  • Mood changes
  • Change in behavior
  • Lack of appetite
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Inability to focus
  • Sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Visible bump/bruise/mark on the head

If you notice any of the above signs and symptoms or suspect that your child may have suffered a concussion, our pediatric urgent care team in Wylie, TX can help to accurately diagnose and treat your child to prevent more serious or permanent complications. If your child is experiencing more severe symptoms, including loss of consciousness, seizure, or inability to wake, visit your nearest emergency room for immediate medical attention.

Can my child sleep after a concussion?

It is important to closely monitor your child if they have sustained a head injury or suspected concussion, but it is typically safe to let them fall asleep. Because sleep is one of the most effective tools for healing the brain after a concussion, it can actually be beneficial to let your child sleep. However, if they are experiencing prolonged and excessive fatigue, inability to wake, or noticeable behavior changes upon waking, it may be a sign of a more serious problem that requires immediate medical attention at your nearest ER.

In addition to sleep, it is important to allow your child’s brain plenty of time to rest in other ways in order to heal from a concussion. This means reducing mental and physical stimulation, including those associated with:

  • TV
  • iPad
  • Video games
  • Computer
  • Screen time
  • Reading
  • Sports
  • Stressful situations
  • Excessive light/noise

One of the most damaging things for a brain that has recently suffered a concussion is to sustain further and/or subsequent injury. By avoiding the above activities, your child can greatly reduce their risk of more serious or permanent complications.

Protect your child’s health by knowing what to do if you suspect a pediatric concussion in Wylie, TX

Fortunately, the vast majority of pediatric concussions are mild and temporary. However, not knowing what signs and symptoms to look for can mean a pediatric concussion goes undiagnosed, increasing the risk of developing more severe and long-lasting problems. If you suspect your child has sustained a concussion, the expert team of board-certified physicians at Health Services of North Texas can offer prompt evaluation and care at our state-of-the-art pediatric urgent care facility in Wylie, TX. We are proud to help keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy with both routine care and urgent care across North Texas.