Concussion In Preschoolers: What Parents Should Know?
Concussion injury results due to persistent banging. Consequently, small blood vessels in the brain may get damaged. How does one identify and deal with this type of injury? Read on.
By Dr Atish Laddad
Concussion injury can be caused by falls, child banging the head against the wall or a parent beating the child on the head. If the child becomes irritable or has convulsions. Acute injuries can give rise to vomiting in the first 24 hours itself. Concussion gives rise to vomiting with nausea.
The child can get problems in learning or speaking. This is commonly seen when boxing is introduced to children. Boxing injuries are an example of concussion injuries. Various related symptoms such as headaches and dizziness can last for weeks, or, in some cases, even months.
Is it common for pre-schoolers?
Although there have been cases where pre-schoolers have suffered from post-concussion syndrome, it is not common. Falls are a common occurrence but concussion injuries are not common amongst pre-schoolers. Also, one should remember that the skulls of children are softer compared to the skull of adults. One thing to remember is that during the event of any injury, the skull is conditioned to absorb the pressure well.
Measures to protect the child from a concussion:
There is no fool-proof way to ensure a child is protected from a concussion. Children are naturally restless and love to play. During play, they may accidentally bump their head or fall on the playground outside. However, the first and basic step is to make sure the house in which the child plays is made safe. One could avoid placing sharp-edged and blunt, heavy objects in the house or make sure they are out of reach for the child. When the child is playing certain sports like hockey or boxing, they could follow basic safety guidelines like wearing a helmet and protective gear.
Concussions are generally treated in a conservative manner and, in most cases, they settle down on their own. However, if you notice certain symptoms like vomiting or convulsions in the first 24 hours, it may indicate internal bleeding. In this case, the child may need to be admitted to a hospital for treatment.
Signs that indicate the need for a doctor:
If a child suffers a fall followed by constant episodes of vomiting or change in consciousness, it indicated the child has a concussion and needs immediate medical attention at the earliest.
After suffering a concussion, a child should take time to rest and recover physically. However, there is no need to take time off from studies.
The author is Pediatrician and Founder Member, The Pediatric Network.
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