Signs of Concussion in Children
- August 21, 2017
- by Melissa Lawrence
Head concussions are so common with active children. It’s imperative we parents recognize the signs of concussion. In our family, we’ve had our share of concussion scares. My boys have fallen skiing and been injured during soccer, resulting in quite a few examinations by doctors for concussions before. But it wasn’t until last week that we had our first real concussion.
During our summer trip to Austria, Marielle (6) fell by the pool. She started screaming right away, saying “I can’t remember anything.” 30 minutes later she vomited, then vomited again. We called the doctor, who examined her eyes. By then, she was lying down and did not want to stay awake. The doctor called an ambulance, and within minutes we were in a helicopter headed for Innsbruck hospital.Here’s my poor little baby during the helicopter ride, fast asleep.The view from the helicopter ride (our first) was breathtaking but impossible to enjoy given the situation.When we arrived at Innsbruck hospital, Marielle was promptly examined in the E.R. by the head of trauma and the head of pediatrics. They looked at her eyes, asked her to balance on one foot (which she couldn’t do), and checked her vitals, concluding that she had a bad concussion. They opted not to do a scan, saying that it wouldn’t tell too much since bleeding could begin in the brain afterwards. During the night, the nurse awoke Marielle every hour to look at her eyes and check her vitals. Waking her up was nearly impossible since she was so drowsy. We slept side by side during the night, Marielle under her clown sheets.By the next day, my little girl was more alert. The nurse brought us a delicious breakfast and we ate in the pristinely-clean hospital room. I couldn’t be more grateful for the incredible care we received from the emergency team and hospital staff.Back at our hotel that night, there was much to be happy for. Marielle was excited to be wearing her new hospital pajamas. I was so relieved that my little girl was going to be alright.
Here’s what the doctor advised for one week: no screens, sports, running or swimming.
Keeping Marielle from running for the rest of the week proved quite challenging! With this difficult week behind us, I wanted to provide you all with some general information regarding concussions.
Concussion Symptoms in Children
Double check with your doctor, but here are some of the common signs of concussions as listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Can’t recall events prior to or after a hit or fall.*
- Appears dazed or stunned*
- Forgets an instruction
- Moves clumsily*
- Answers question slowly
- Loses consciousness
- Shows mood, behavior or personality changes*
And here are some reported symptoms:
- Headache or pressure in head*
- nausea or vomiting*
- balance problems or dizziness or double or blurry vision
- feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy*
- confusion, concentration or memory problems
- Just not feeling right or “feeling down”*
I shiver when I read this list, realizing how many signs Marielle manifested that day. I’ve starred the ones we observed above.
Make sure to be alert to these symptoms and signs so that you can take care of your little ones right away should they have a concussion.Since Marielle is back on her feet and healthy, we have much to celebrate.