Our toddler had a nasty fall the other day and cracked her head hard on the floor. Thank God we have carpet. This caused me to do a little research on toddler concussion and I thought I’d share what I discovered.
The biggest shock for me was how quickly these things happen. We were sitting at the table eating Friday night pizza when our little one put her foot on the dining table and pushed back hard. This sent her highchair (with her strapped in it) toppling backwards and the back of her head thumped into the ground.
There was a deathly silence as I ran over to get her. That was the worst part – no tears or
screams just a dazed and confused toddler. I think I even saw her eyes rolling in her head but maybe that was just my imagination.
The first thing I did was have a good look at her. I found her to still have a half chewed
piece of pizza stuck in her mouth and after I cleared it out with my finger then the tears
There wasn’t any external signs of injury or any bleeding. She was conscious and her eyes were clear and focused. I also checked the inside of her mouth to make sure that she had not bitten her tongue or anything like that.
Some toddler concussion symptoms may show straight away and others may take days or weeks to occur. These symptoms are quite normal and in most cases there is generally nothing to worry about unless your child is unconscious or the symptoms get worse over the ensuing days.
Toddler concussion symptoms include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Mild to moderate headache
- Change in mood (Sad or restlessness)
- Sensitivity to light
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty remembering things, concentrating or making decisions.
We were worried about putting her to bed so soon after the head bump so we kept her up for half an hour or so just to be sure. As she wasn’t vomiting and didn’t lose consciousness we were pretty sure that everything was OK and that it would be fine to let her sleep.
The other main factor was that our toddler was actually getting better in that half an hour
period. She had stopped crying and was talking and laughing and generally looked much better.
If your baby’s symptoms are getting worse over the following hours or days then you should definitely take them to the doctor for a check up. We even woke our toddler a couple of times during that night just to make sure that we could.
Additionally if your toddler lost consciousness during the fall then personally I would be
headed straight for the emergency room just in case. It is much better to be safe than sorry.
Another interesting fact I learnt was that toddlers (and adults) get concussions all the time. These are usually minor with no lasting effects.
The serious damage occurs when a second toddler concussion is received before the brain has had time to recover from the first concussion. It is very important to keep a close eye on your toddlers activities in the weeks following the first concussion to ensure that they do not damage themselves again in that critical period.