Identifying TBI In Young Children

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For parents, the recent heightened attention on concussions are a little bit more scary than the average person. Most non-athletes assume they can prevent head injuries, except in cases where you can’t control it like a car crash. Parents on the other hand, worry about protecting the minds of their children who are at a much higher risk.

It doesn’t help that children hit their heads all the time. They fall and bump it while learning to walk, they fall off furniture, and they find plenty of creative ways to accidentally hit their head as well. So when do you worry? If you took your child to the hospital every time he hit his head, you would be bankrupt.

A mother shared her story on Babble of her baby’s mild traumatic brain injury as an example of how to handle a possible brain injury in a child. After an innocent fall, Katie immediately began looking for symptoms in Eli, her young child. The symptoms were immediate. He wouldn’t open his eyes, couldn’t hold his head up, and was in clear pain.

Katie did what any mother would do and was rushed to a local children’s hospital where Eli was cleared. “Just give him some Motrin and he’d be okay.” That’s what Katie was told, but within hours she was at a different hospital. Eli had begun vomiting and couldn’t stay awake. The CT scan showed bleeding in his brain.

Eli is recovering from the brain injury, but he still endures mild seizures and vomiting. Before long he will actually be back to normal. Katie and Eli were lucky. Katie didn’t put her guard down even after her child had been cleared by professionals, was aware of the signs, and acted quickly. Had she waited, the outcome could have been different.

The key signs to look for if your child has a brain injury are vomiting, trouble staying awake, and head control problems. Eli showed all of these. Loss of consciousness is also a serious sign to take your child to a hospital, but it is less common than many think. There are also less known signs such as differences in pupil size, which can indicate a brain injury even when the other symptoms don’t seem serious.

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