Updated July 2020
Let’s face it. Kids get hurt. Even if you are paying close attention to them, they might still hurtle themselves right over a rocking horse, right into another kid at the Trampoline Park, or faceplant into the turf after a bad tackle. Most likely, your child will get up like something out of The Walking Dead and keep playing as if nothing happened, but it’s important to look for signs of symptoms that they might not show right away.
Concussions can be a serious injury that has the potential to lead to more severe brain trauma if left untreated. Sometimes symptoms don’t show up right after the injury – they may appear hours or even days later. Parents should keep a close eye on children after a serious fall or accident and look for the following red flag symptoms:
- Severe or worsening headache or ringing in the ears
- Neck pain
- Increasing confusion or dizziness
- Fainting, drowsiness, significant decline in alertness, inability to be woken from sleep, any prolonged loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in arms or legs
- Clear, watery discharge from the nose or ears, or bloody discharge from the ears
- Pupils that are unequal in size
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, take them to the ER immediately. The doctor might order a CT scan to check the brain for any bleeding or damage.
If your child is awake, active, and doesn’t seem to be acting differently after a mild bump to the head, they most likely did not get a head injury. If you are unsure, you can log on to Amwell and talk to a doctor about your concerns. They will ask you questions about the incident and your child’s symptoms and recommend going to the ER or just continue to monitor them at home.
The only treatment for a concussion is rest. The brain needs to recover from a concussion and depending on the severity, it can take months or even a year for a full recovery. The important thing to remember is that kids need to rest from mental and physical activity in order for the brain to heal. Limit screen time that will overstimulate and excite the brain. Encourage quiet time, naps, and early bedtime as much as possible to give the brain more time to heal.
To get all your concussion questions answered and to give you peace of mind, sign on to Amwell. Get an online diagnosis and treatment plan from board-certified physicians 24/7.