Concussion Laguna Beach

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury where blood vessels are torn and nervous tissue is injured as the brain bangs against the skull. A concussion will alter the way the brain functions. While the term “concussion” is often associated with being knocked unconscious, they can be caused by more common situations, such as sports injuries, fights, and even minor falls.

Symptoms of a Concussion

Because concussions can lead to brain damage or even disability, it is important that anyone with a head injury be monitored for signs of a concussion. These symptoms can be subtle and may not appear for days or weeks after the injury, or may make themselves immediately apparent.

Signs of a concussion include:

  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty walking or loss of coordination
  • Confusion and saying things that don’t make sense
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slurred speech

The signs of concussion in young children are the same as in older children and adults, but may be more difficult to detect. Emotional and cognitive symptoms may take longer to manifest and may continue longer than in older patients. Signs that a young child may have a concussion may include:

  • Crying more than usual
  • Loss of balance
  • Temper tantrums
  • Changes in the way they behave, including play, nursing, eating, or sleeping

Diagnosing a Concussion

To diagnose a concussion, your pediatrician will ask about how and when the head injury occurred, and will evaluate your child’s signs and symptoms. Your child may be asked to answer basic questions to determine concentration and memory. A neurological exam to evaluate your child’s hearing, balance, nerve function, reflexes, and vision will be conducted. A brain scan may be ordered to make sure there are no further complications from the injury.

Treatment for concussions depends on the severity of the condition. Physical and mental rest are the most common remedies. Activities that could make symptoms worse should be avoided until your child is recovered. Healthy kids will usually be fully recovered within a few weeks. Only in rare cases will medical procedures or surgery be needed to treat a concussion.

If your child has experienced any kind of head injury and is exhibiting signs of a concussion, the caring team at Newport Children’s Medical Group is ready to help. Contact our Laguna office today to make an appointment.