It is usual for children to play, fall and bump their heads into something from time to time. Although not all head injuries merit a visit to the doctor—as the majority of the mild injuries do cure on their own—the moderate to severe head injuries calls for concern and as well as medical attention.
These head injuries are known as concussions, and they affect the brain’s functioning. In young children, a concussion often occurs due to falling from bed, couch, or pram, etc. Though transitory in nature, its effects can be felt in the form of altered consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion, visual disturbances, or memory loss. In teens, a concussion can lead to trouble in focusing, learning and memory issues, sleep problems, sadness, anger, and irritation.
A parent should look after their child and ensure that they don’t experience any injuries to the head.
Protecting your child against injuries to the head
Parents don’t want even the slightest pain to befall their children. No matter how much you try you cannot control every factor. Sometimes, complications in health can arise from birth. Birth injuries like cerebral palsy, which is a complication that affects the child’s brain, often occur due to the negligence of the medical staff during delivery.
Undue stress can cause the brain to strike with the inside of the skull and cause brain damage. As a form of compensation for your troubles, you should seek legal aid for cerebral palsy, which is, if granted, going to at least reimburse you for the pains you had to take in treating the child’s condition.
Does your child need to see a doctor after a concussion?
Yes, it is important to see a medical health professional after your child experiences a head injury. You should immediately visit an on-duty doctor in the emergency. Additionally, you should be on the lookout for the following symptoms that might indicate a bigger issue at play with your child’s health: double vision, severe or worsening headache, loss of consciousness (blacking out), seizures, and vomiting.
In serious cases, your child may also display restlessness , loss of awareness of the surroundings, weakness or tingling sensation in the limbs, neck pain, and tenderness. Apart from a quick visit to the doctor, there is a lot you can do if your child experiences a concussion.
Let your child take ample rest
A concussion can become serious if your child does not take enough rest. The first twenty fours after a head injury are critical and the child requires a lot of attention in this time frame. Sleep can help them recover faster. You should ensure that your child gets a full night’s sleep and naps throughout the day by removing distractions or noise.
Make sure your child stays away from any physically taxing activity or emotionally traumatizing situations during these hours. The important thing is to help your child get over their injury and not dwell on it more than normal.
After the concussion, make sure your child doesn’t engage in play with other kids, since it is likely she is still feeling dizzy and experiencing a loss in balance. Their confusion, dizziness and headache can put them in the way of additional harm. Other children may also knock them over during play, leading to more severe complications.
Engage in light activity
Once the 24-hours period is up, you can let your child engage in light activity. Encourage them to color and draw, engage with the family, eat meals together, and read a book. Games that are physically less taxing are okay to play, too.
If you see any symptoms resurfacing while engaging in light activity, stop immediately. If the symptoms disappear on their own, you can let them resume whatever they were doing.
Make sure to completely cut out their screen time. Video games, TV, texting, social media— anything that involves exposing them to harmful rays should be removed from the surrounding.
Bring them back to their normal routine
As the days pass, you should let your child engage in more activities, such as going for a walk or watching TV. A gradual return to daily activities prepares your child for full recovery, and they should start following their normal routine, such as going back to school and studying with the other kids.
Work with your child’s teacher and healthcare provider and design a regime tailored to their condition. You can request the school to decrease the workload or limit your child’s exposure to physically taxing games and team activities for a few more days until your child has recovered completely.
The school can also provide for frequent breaks during the day, allow shorter school days, or give your child a quiet area to take rest.
One month after the concussion
Ideally, your child should have completely returned to their old life after one month of rest and gradual and systematic return to life activities. If the symptoms have completely disappeared, your child is ready for some regular activities, like sports.
Your healthcare provider can work with your child’s sports coach and discuss the intensity and frequency of sports activities needed at this stage.
How long does it normally take to return to normal after a concussion?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Most children take a few weeks—a couple at max— to completely recover from a concussion. But in some cases, the symptoms may extend to a few months or even longer.
According to a 2014 study, children still complained about headaches even a month after the injury. Such situations can be a matter of concern for the parents of the child. One-fifth of the respondents reported tiredness, and another 20 percent complained of difficulties in thinking clearly.
When symptoms extend beyond a few months, parents should consult professional doctors and conduct scans if required. Some children also display post-concussion symptoms.
A concussion might be a mild injury, but it can balloon into a much more serious health issue if not taken seriously earlier on. When your child experiences a fall and bangs their head against something, immediately consult a doctor and take all precautionary measures mentioned in the article above, such as ensuring the child is resting, refraining from strenuous physical exertion, and staying away from screens.