How to Recognize TBI Symptoms in Children (Traumatic Brain Injury)

The symptoms of a concussion or traumatic brain injury (also called a TBI) are known to vary somewhat between children and adults. These types of injury usually are caused by a some sort of a blow to the head and do not always show symptoms right away. If you have a child or care for children, you should know what to look out for. Traumatic brain injuries can cause lifelong complications, and early treatment is your best option.

Steps

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    Understand that children may not be able to describe their symptoms as well as adults. This is especially true of very young children; adults who care for children need to be aware of what to look out for.
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    Know what events are the most likely causes of traumatic brain injury. TBI is usually caused when the head strikes a hard surface as in:
    • A fall. This is the most common cause of TBI. It need not be from a particularly great distance to potentially cause a TBI.
    • A motor vehicle crash
    • Being struck by something / running into something (these can frequently happen when engaging in sports or other play activities)
    • Fighting
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    Watch out for any of the following for up to a few weeks after a head injury:
    • Changes in mood: child is excessively irritable, or is listless
    • Changes in eating habits: child lacks interest in food or nursing
    • Vomiting or Nausea
    • Child's sleeping habits are disrupted (insomnia or sleeping too much)
    • Child's normal play and school behavior change; increase in problem behaviors.
    • Child is overly tired or lacks interest in usual activities.
    • Child appears to have forgotten recently-acquired skills (e.g, toilet training).
    • Cannot console the child/help him to stop crying
    • Child displays problems with balance/walking
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    Seek treatment immediately for the child if you see any of these symptoms. A doctor is needed to confirm the diagnosis and recommend how to best care for TBI.

Tips

Warnings

  • Traumatic brain injuries can result in life-long difficulties with normal activities. It is imperative that anyone who has suffered a TBI receive appropriate care.

Article Info

Categories: Neurological Disorders | Injury and Accidents