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Head Injuries in Children: Problems to Watch For
What to watch for after a head injury
A minor head injury is sometimes hard to distinguish from a more serious injury to the brain even when there is no visible bleeding or injury on the outside of the skull.
Check for the following changes immediately after a head injury:
- A significant change in the child's level of consciousness
- Confusion or not acting normal, such as extreme fussiness or crying that cannot be comforted
- Abnormally deep sleep, trouble waking up, or extreme sleepiness
- Symptoms that affect one side of the body more than the other side, such as weakness or problems moving an arm or leg
- Loss of vision
A decrease in level of consciousness following a head injury may signal a life-threatening problem caused by bleeding, injury, or swelling within or around the brain. A child's level of consciousness can deteriorate suddenly or gradually. This change can be permanent or temporary.
If a parent or caregiver can't be sure that a child was conscious following a head injury, a visit to a doctor is needed for further evaluation.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Last Revised||April 5, 2012|
|By:||Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: April 5, 2012|
|Medical Review:||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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