Kids and Head Trauma
Kids and head trauma – when is a head injury serious?
Head injuries fall into two categories: external and internal. While most childhood head injury is of the less serious external type, internal head injuries (including concussion) can be serious and even life threatening.
The signs of head injury can occur immediately or develop slowly over several hours. The head may look fine, but complications could result from bleeding inside the skull. It’s important to recognize when head trauma is serious and how to respond.
Call your doctor when child experiences:
- Dizziness, “seeing stars”
- Memory loss
- Confusion, difficulty concentrating
- Severe headache, nausea or vomiting
- Blurred vision, sensitivity to light
- Irritability, personality changes or unusual behavior
- Head and/or neck pain
- Difficulty with coordination or balance
- Initial improvement followed by worsening symptoms
Call an ambulance when child experiences:
- Abnormal breathing
- Obvious serious wound or fracture
- Bleeding or clear fluid from the nose, ear, or mouth
- Disturbance of speech, vision, hearing
- Pupils of unequal size
- Weakness or paralysis
- Severe vomiting (more than 2 times)
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
While not all head injuries can be prevented, certain precautions help. 1) wear a seat belt or child safety seat, 2) wear a helmet for contact sports and when biking, skating, skiing or snowboarding, 3) rest after concussion to allow for healing. Prevention is always the best cure and parents should lead by example.
For more information on head injury and its diagnosis, contact the brain and spine experts at Sierra Neurosurgery Group at (775) 323.2080 or visit sierraneurosurgery.com.