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Concussion symptoms - What to look for in kids who are injured

The summertime is naturally a time for increased activity for kids. Whether they are playing on the playground, on jungle gyms or during dance or gymnastics classes, the potential for kids to fall and injure themselves cannot be underestimated. For those kids that suffer head injuries, it is important to take all the precautions necessary to protect them.

While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends calling a child’s pediatrician for injuries greater than a bump on the head, this post will focus on the symptoms parents and caregivers should watch out for. 

Physical clues – The most common indicators of a concussion include outward physical clues, including loss of consciousness, appearing dazed, complaining that he or she is seeing stars, and prolonged headaches.

Non-verbal clues – Sometimes a child may not be able to articulate how they are feeling or what exactly hurts. In these instances, a parent should look for non-verbal clues such as listlessness or continued fatigue, being irritable and cranky, and significant changes in eating or sleeping patterns.

Extended problems – It is also possible for symptoms to develop over a period of 24-48 hours. So if your child experiences repeated vomiting, a headache that persists or changes in physical coordination, it would be prudent to seek emergency care.

Also, it is important to keep a record of what your child has experienced between the time of the accident and when you have reached the hospital. This could help in how doctors assess your child and expedite the treatment process. The preceding should not be construed as legal or medical advice. 

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