Okay, so your kiddo bumped their noggin. Are they going to die? Not always. As a matter of fact, kids have a lot more abilities to “bounce” than we do. But this doesn’t mean that concussions don’t happen, and when they do, they’re a very serious matter. In this guide we’re going to tell you 10 signs to look for anytime someone bumps their heads or smacks them hard enough to knock them silly. You may be surprised at the results and you should head straight to the emergency room if you see any of these warning signs after any form of head trauma.

Headache or Sudden Tinnitus

While these aren’t always symptoms of anything, they can mean a lot when someone gets hit in the head hard. Even getting hit with boxing gloves or hitting softer items can still cause this if you get hit hard enough, and this can be a sign of a concussion.

Neck Pain

If your neck hurts after getting your head rattled, especially combined with a headache, then you’ll want to have this looked into quickly.

If you’re Nauseous or Throwing Up

This is a very serious sign of a concussion, and is often associated with dizziness that a person doesn’t realize they have when they have a concussion. If this happens to your child after they bonk their head (often within an hour or two from the injury time), then get to the hospital immediately.

Confusion, Dizziness

Sometimes patients seem sad about it, or they’re possibly more irritable because they are in pain and confused about what happened. Also they can be dizzy, and if this happens even an hour after they have a concussion, they need to be assessed by medical professionals.

Drowsiness

Hitting your head hard can cause drowsiness, no doubt about it, but if it means that you start to faint, or find it hard to stay awake after hitting your head hard, then you need to try and stay awake for a couple hours and get to the hospital. Even with children, you should make sure they stay awake for a few hours, even if they feel drowsy. If you can’t wake someone back into consciousness for a long time, or if they keep drifting in and out, the same rules apply.

Seizing

This is something that people don’t know about, but even if you hit your head and get knocked out, when you seize, you’re actually suffering from a concussion, and this can be extremely dangerous.

Acting Drunk

Have you ever heard how a drunk person slurs their speech? If you ever experience getting hit hard in the head, or someone else does, and they start slurring their speech as if they were drunk (or you), then you need to get help immediately. If you’re the one suffering from a concussion though, you may not even know it, so this can be potentially dangerous and fatal.

Watery Discharge from your Ears

If you ever experience discharge from your nose or ears, or bloody discharge from your ears, you need IMMEDIATE medical attention, and we can’t stress that enough. That goes for anybody. That means that the concussion is so severe that there is brain trauma. Even clear fluid can be a sign that you have an internal skull fracture and that spinal fluid is leaking into your sinus cavities or ear canal.

Un-Dilated Pupils

Those who get hit hard enough to get a concussion will have eyes that have slow response times, and you may notice that even if you shine a bright LED light into their eyes, while they may be more sensitive to the light, their pupils don’t dilate fast (or not at all).

Uneven Pupils

If one pupil is larger than the other, this is another case where your concussion is severe and needs to be looked at.

Just Because You Hit Your Head

While concussions are actually quite common, most of them are mild enough that they don’t need medical attention, especially in children. If you don’t have at least one of the symptoms that we listed above, then you probably aren’t going to get anything more than a hospital bill (not a CT scan). 

Conclusion

Another common misconception is that if the party who was struck in the head doesn’t have any of the more severe symptoms, then you don’t necessarily need to stay awake. As a safety measure, you can keep your child awake if this happens to them for a couple hours. But this isn’t always necessary, especially if your child is old enough to explain and answer these questions when you ask if they’re experiencing any of these symptoms. They may not have a concussion, but hitting their head wore them out. Let them sleep.

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