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Important Signs of Concussion in a Child

Nearly 30 million children visit an emergency department every year in the United States. Unfortunately, many of these visits are due to head injuries.

Once your infant starts toddling, walking, and then running, head injuries are not uncommon. Additionally, sometimes they’re unavoidable. However, if a head injury turns into a concussion – you have a problem.

The best way to arm yourself against a potentially severe situation is to learn about the signs of concussion in a child. Knowing what to look for could be the difference between giving them a plaster and some TLC, or an emergency room visit.

Read on to find out more.

Cognitive Impairment

It’s one of the main concussion symptoms, but it can be challenging to gauge cognitive impairment depending on their age.

For infants or toddlers, check whether they can follow your finger with their eyes and make their usual noises/speech. For children, check whether they’re speaking normally and can still do basic maths.

To some extent, you can use your own judgment for children. However, always take infants or toddlers for a second opinion, even if they seem fine.

Severe or Prolonged Headaches

Judging concussion risks by asking about head pain is extremely challenging – it’s totally normal to have a headache after a head injury.

However, it could mean something more sinister. Use your intuition. Does the pain seem appropriate for the injury sustained?

Whenever in doubt, seek medical attention immediately.

Dizziness or Coordination Problems

Another of the main concussion signs is dizziness and coordination issues. Check whether they can walk in a straight line – if not, immediately seek medical attention.

You can also ask them to try reading or writing basic text to see if they’re having the signs of a concussion.


Vomiting is more common than you may expect in children after a head injury. It’s not always indicative of a concussion but should always be treated seriously.

If a child vomits after a head injury, take them to an ER. If they vomit more than twice, call 911.

Severe Drowsiness or Unconsciousness

A car accident concussion is one of the most severe types and can cause instant drowsiness or unconsciousness. If they’re showing these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

If they don’t have symptoms, you should still get them checked out at the ER. If diagnosed with a concussion, you may even be entitled to compensation (more info here).

Know the Signs of Concussion in a Child: Save a Life

Head injuries in children are relatively common and usually harmless. However, they can lead to dangerous and life-threatening concussions.

The best thing you can do is learn the signs of concussion in a child, and you could potentially save a life. Next time you see a child with a head injury, use this checklist to determine how severe the damage might be.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, check out our other posts for all things health, lifestyle, parenting, and more.

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