What can cause a concussion?
The majority of concussions in children occur while playing sports; however, a traumatic injury or accident such as a car accident or bad fall can also leave your child dealing with a head injury. Some concussions may lead to a loss of consciousness, but most of the time this isn’t the case.
What are the warning signs?
Some of the most common symptoms of a concussion include:
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Loss of balance or unsteadiness
- Trouble with cognition, particularly attention, focus, and memory
If your child is alert and responds and acts normally these are often signs that the head injury is mild and probably won’t require emergency care; however, even if your child doesn’t require urgent care you should schedule an appointment to see your child’s pediatrician within the next 48 hours.
When is a concussion considered an emergency?
You should take your child to the ER right away if they develop these symptoms after a head injury:
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- Loss of consciousness for more than 30 seconds
- A worsening headache
- Fluid draining from the eyes or ears
- Vision problems including dilated pupils
- Persistent tinnitus
- Weakness in the arms or legs
- Changes in behavior
- Slurred speech
- Trouble with coordination such as stumbling or falling
- Persistent dizziness or lightheadedness