Kids bump their heads all the time, which is why many parents are slow to react when their little one sustains a mild head injury. However, concussions in children are not uncommon. They occur when the head gets hit hard enough to cause the brain to contact the side of the skull, resulting in a traumatic injury. Here are a few frequently asked questions parents have about concussions, as well as when to take your little one to the emergency room.
A Parent’s Guide to Concussions
How common are concussions?
Concussions are common in children, with reports estimating that around three million children visit the emergency room each year in the United States due to traumatic brain injuries. While up to 90% of these injuries are considered mild, some are significant enough to endanger the life of a child, so it’s always important to take any head injury seriously.
What are the signs of a concussion?
Concussions occur due to a variety of reasons, ranging from playing sports and sustaining a hit to being involved in a car accident. However, the signs of a concussion can vary depending on the significance of the damage, with mild trauma causing nothing more than a dazed look or a mild headache and significant trauma causing symptoms, such as clumsy movement, loss of consciousness, or even seizures.
After sustaining a blow to the head, kids should be monitored closely for any signs of a serious injury, such as vomiting, trouble moving or talking properly, or losing consciousness. Parents should either consult with their doctor if an injury seems mild, or take their child directly to the emergency room.
How are concussions treated?
After testing your child’s balance, coordination, and neurological abilities, doctors may order additional imaging tests, such as a CAT scan or MRI, to determine the extent of the injury. Depending on the significance of the damage, doctors may suggest monitoring the child carefully or may even recommend emergency surgery in serious cases.
How long will recovery take?
Recovering from a concussion will vary depending on how badly your child was injured. However, most kids get better in a few weeks. If your child still has symptoms for longer than 1-3 months, they may need additional treatments or therapies to restore their health.
If your child recently injured their head, contact the specialists at Santiam Hospital in Stayton, OR. In addition to having an emergency room where doctors are always available to help, this trusted hospital also offers intensive care, diagnostic imaging, orthopedic care, and much more. Learn more about the services they offer by visiting their website, or give them a call at (503) 749-4734 to speak with a member of their team.