Concussion

Traumatic ABIs often cause a concussion, which happens when the brain is shaken back and forth inside the skull, which injures the brain. Without treatment, the brain may not heal, and the effects can become worse.

Concussions are classed as either mild, moderate, or severe, based on the symptoms and how long they last. It is important to seek medical treatment if you have suffered trauma to your head or trauma to your body that has caused a sudden or sharp movement of your head.

A concussion often changes the way your brain normally works and impacts the rest of your body. Symptoms of a concussion include:

  • colorful x-ray scan of brainAmnesia (forgetting things)
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or fuzzy vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Nausea
  • Feeling sluggish, foggy, or groggy
  • Feeling unusually irritable
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Slowed reaction time

You can download more information about concussions from the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation:

Guidelines for Concussion/mTBI& Persistent Symptoms: Third Edition

Guidelines Diagnosing and Managing Pediatric Concussion

 

Concussions and Children

A concussion can happen to any child at any age. The symptoms may be harder to identify if children are too young to communicate or have difficulty telling you how they feel. If you have any concerns about your child after a fall or any sort of trauma or jolt to the head, take them to a doctor or emergency room.

General Guidelines:

Asking these three questions will help you decide what to do:

  • Is the child acting normally?
  • Are they more drowsy than normal?
  • Has their behavior changed?

If they are behaving as usual and are awake and active it is likely they are fine. However, keep an eye out for the following signs and symptoms.

Signs of Concussion—Babies

*Signs may not appear right away and may take hours or days to become evident. If you’re concerned, take your baby to a doctor or emergency room.

  • Crying when their head is moved
  • Irritable, or a change in temperament (how they usually act)
  • Changes in their sleeping routine
  • Visible bump or bruise on their head
  • Vomiting

Signs of Concussion—Toddlers

*Signs may not appear right away and may take hours or days to become evident. If you’re concerned, take your toddler to a doctor or emergency room.

  • Headache, or complaining of their head hurting
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Changes in their usual behavior
  • Changes in their sleeping habits
  • Excessive crying
  • Not wanting to play or participate in things they usually enjoy

Signs of Concussion—Children 2 Years and Older

*Signs may not appear right away and may take hours or days to become evident. If you’re concerned, take your child to a doctor or emergency room.

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Changes in their usual behavior, sleeping patterns, or mood
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Seeing double, or blurry
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Looking like they are daydreaming
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Confused or forgetting recent events
  • Unusually slow to answer questions
  • Drowsy