Closed head injuries in children are fairly common occurrences. Some children may experience a brief loss of consciousness, vomiting or even seizure activity immediately following a head injury. It is imperative to not only be aware of the symptoms that come with head injury and concussion in children, but to know what to do if you suspect your child has a head injury or concussion.
Important Information About Child Head Injuries
Always call us after a head injury occurs. Often, we may decide that home monitoring is sufficient, checking for responsiveness and signs of consciousness. In certain cases, we may recommend that your child be seen for further evaluation or re-evaluation later. Evaluations for head injuries in children include a thorough physical exam and cranial nerve testing. Radiology may or may not be necessary based on the results of the exam.
Our pediatricians will most often institute a period of observation (usually the first 24 hours). If your child develops persistent vomiting, a loss of consciousness after a period of clarity, or repeated seizure activity, they should be evaluated by a pediatrician immediately.
If you think that your child’s pupils may be of unequal size or you notice a dark area of skin behind their ear, you should have your child’s head injury evaluated immediately. Of course, if you happen upon your child, or someone else’s child, and they have sustained an unwitnessed injury, NEVER move them, as they may have sustained injury to their neck and spine. Call for help and await a back board and/or neck collar to prevent further damage.
Symptoms of Head Injuries in Children to Address Immediately:
- Headache – especially worsening
- Slurred speech
- Dizziness or abnormal gait
- Irritability or fussiness
- Excessive sleepiness or sleepy at strange times
- Unequal pupils
- Blood or clear fluid from nose or ears
- Vision problems
*Once evaluated by a physician, you can use Tylenol for pain relief.
****The information provided here is intended only as a supplement to the advice and information provided by our physicians and nurses during direct patient interactions at Health Care for Children. This information should never take the place of an actual physical examination for head injuries. Call us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss concerns about your child’s head injury with our nursing staff directly.****
Treatment for Head Injuries in Children
The physicians of Health Care for Children take child head injuries and concussions very seriously, as it could affect the skull, brain and spine. Head injury and concussion in children can be serious, leading to brain injury or damage. Never hesitate to contact the pediatricians at our Northland practice by calling (816) 792-1170 to make an appointment.
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Visit Healthy Children.org for more information about children’s health.