A concussion is likely to occur among toddlers due to their playful and curious nature. Toddlers are quite inquisitive of their surroundings that they often endure falls and tumbles that result to undesirable head bumps. Concussions are also considered as mild traumatic brain injuries which causes a disruption in the normal brain functioning. This injury is usually caused a direct blow or jolt to the head. It is vital that you are familiar with the signs and symptoms of a concussion since toddlers could not put into words any symptoms that they might be experiencing.
Losing consciousness right after a bump on the head is a warning indication of a possible concussion even if it only lasts for a few seconds. Nevertheless, loss of consciousness does not occur in most cases.
The typical symptoms to watch out for include a dazed expression after the injury, vomiting, headache and prolonged crying. The child will also complain of a belly that “does not feel right” which might indicate nausea.
Other possible symptoms include blurred vision or headache while seizures can also occur but uncommon.
What are the early symptoms?
Some of the symptoms develop over the initial hours to days after the injury. The child will start to cover his/her eyes or avoid going outdoors due to the increased sensitivity to light. In the same way, he/she start to avoid the television or music due to the sensitivity to sound.
Diminished level of energy, irritability or not playing as usual might indicate a possible concussion. Changes in the sleeping pattern of the child such as sleeping more than usual or avoids taking naps are other signs to watch out for. Slurred speech, unusual clumsiness, frequent falls and lack of coordination can also develop.
What are the persistent symptoms?
The symptoms might not be evident in the initial few days after the injury, but becomes noticeable over time. There might be changes in the eating habits, lack of interest in favorite activities or toys and unusual sadness or grumpiness.
There is also an increase in temper tantrums or becoming impatient as well as crying more than usual. Oftentimes, the child might not seem like his/her usual self but you might not be able to determine what is wrong.
When to seek medical attention
Toddlers are considered as a high-risk group for concussions. It is vital to note that head injuries should not be taken lightly and monitor for any symptoms of a possible concussion.
Call for emergency assistance or bring the child to the nearest emergency department if he/she loses consciousness, has a seizure or an open cut on the face or head. Otherwise, call a doctor right away to report anything more than a minor bump on the head and discuss if the child needs assessment and what to watch out for if the doctor advises monitoring at home.