- Brain Concussion in Baby
- Causes of Concussions in Children
- Symptoms of Brain Concussion in Children
- What Should You do First in Case of Concussion in a Child?
Brain Concussion in Baby
Head injuries in children are in the first place among all injuries requiring hospitalization. Besides, due to increased motor activity, concussion in children is observed much more often than in adults.
Concussion in children is accountable for 90 % among all the brain damages. This is explained, firstly, by their increased physical activity, often children are restless and overly inquisitive. At the same time, coordination and motor skills of children are far from perfect, and the sense of fear of heights is often lacking. Secondly, the baby's head has more weight than the adult’s, and they haven’t yet learned to display their hands forward to be safe when they fall. Most often, children fall often upside down, rather on the upper limbs.
Slightly older children, at the age under one, get traumatic brain injuries more often. They account for up to 25 % of the head trauma victims, in 90 % of cases because of falling child from a changing table, bed, parent’s hands, strollers and other elevations. That is why a constant vigilant care of a baby is so important, especially if the baby has become increasingly active. It’s better not to leave him alone, and if you need to be away from your baby at a bigger distance than outstretched hands, then it is important not to be too lazy and put him into bed with sides or in a playpen. Sometimes, 2 seconds of a parent’s distraction is enough for the baby to get a traumatic brain injury.
When the child begins to walk and reaches the age of 1 year, the number of injuries decreases a bit and amounts to 8 %. Most often, children get injured after falling from heights like stairs, roofs, windows, children's rides, etc. It is important to carefully examine the baby, after the supervision of third persons -relatives, neighbors, etc., because they may try to hide the fact that the child received a blow on his head.
Preschool children are accountable for 20 % of the victims. Sometimes they do not notify their parents. Traumatologists use the term "shaken baby syndrome", which means that the baby gets a concussion when exposed to a sharp force, accompanied by a sudden acceleration or braking. This sometimes happens due to the rude attitude, intense swinging, jumping from a height. Injury peak falls on school age, children of this age are accountable for 45 % of victims.
Causes of Concussions in Children
Injuries of infants are caused by falls from changing tables or wheelchairs as a result of parents’ negligence. Such injuries are especially common among kids who train motor skills and coordination of movements. Later they can fall from trees, hills, and stairs.
A concussion can result from a sudden braking or acceleration (the so-called "shaken baby syndrome"). It is observed in four-five-year-olds when landing on the feet from a height, or as a result of rude treatment, and in babies – even as result of dandling.
Symptoms of Brain Concussion in Children
It is difficult to identify the symptoms of concussions in babies. Concussion may result in vomiting, skin pallor, regurgitation after eating, anxiety, moodiness, sleep disturbances and prolonged crying.
In older children, the injury may be accompanied by a headache and dizziness, nausea and vomiting, weakness, disorientation in time and space, lack of concentration, change in heart rate. A transient loss of consciousness is also possible. When a child comes to his senses, he may suffer from a sense of somnolentia.
Sometimes, concussion in children is diagnosed by post-traumatic blindness that can occur instantaneously or some time after an injury. It lasts from a few minutes to a few hours, after which it disappears by itself. The cause of this phenomenon is not yet explored.
The injury consequences may occur not immediately but after a couple of hours. The condition rapidly deteriorates: subconscious state, nausea, and vomiting are observed. In this case, you need immediate medical assistance. For a month or two after the concussion, the kid will probably complain about motion sickness in transport, but gradually this symptom will pass.
A distinctive feature of concussion in children is that its symptoms may not be present immediately after the injury. They appear after some time, their intensity is growing fast, therefore, it is so important to closely observe the child in the next few hours. After a concussion, the child should not be allowed to fall asleep during the first hour. Quite often, one of the first signs of concussion in children is a strong desire to sleep or drink/eat.
What Should You do First in Case of Concussion in a Child?
In the case of the head trauma, first of all, it is necessary to call an ambulance, to immediately show the victim to the specialists-doctors (neurologist, neurosurgeon). The timely diagnosis will help to avoid complications and severe consequences. Remember that even small symptoms may be a sign of a serious concussion.
While you are waiting for an ambulance, make sure that the injured child does not fall. Try to make sure the child is awake during the first hour. If the child loses consciousness, you must turn him on his side. Don’t give painkillers to the child, it is also necessary to limit his motor activity.
On arrival at the medical facility, the victim is examined by traumatologist and neurologist, the circumstances of injuries and complaints are clarified. In addition, the reflexes, motor activity, and sensitivity are checked. The intracranial pressure is measured with an ophthalmoscope. As an additional survey, x-rays, as well as computed tomography of the brain, may be prescribed. The additional examination is used in case of heavy craniocerebral traumas.
Even if the symptoms are subtle, and the child feels quite good, it does not mean that he has not received a serious injury to the brain. Sometimes, that very often occurs in the case of cerebral hemorrhage, a child may show no signs of anxiety and not complain about pain during several hours or even days. However, this apparent well-being can convert in an apparent and quickly increasing sickliness. A complex of symptoms such as nystagmus*, vomiting, oppression of consciousness and increased drowsiness-arises and grows at lightning speed.
Video: How do you know if your child has sustained a concussion?