How to Recognize TBI Symptoms in Children (Traumatic Brain Injury)

The symptoms of a concussion or traumatic brain injury (also called a TBI) are known to vary somewhat between children and adults. These types of injury usually are caused by a some sort of a blow to the head and do not always show symptoms right away. If you have a child or care for children, you should know what to look out for. Traumatic brain injuries can cause lifelong complications, and early treatment is your best option.


  1. Image titled Recognize TBI Symptoms in Children (Traumatic Brain Injury) Step 1
    Understand that children may not be able to describe their symptoms as well as adults. This is especially true of very young children; adults who care for children need to be aware of what to look out for.
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    Know what events are the most likely causes of traumatic brain injury. TBI is usually caused when the head strikes a hard surface as in:
    • A fall. This is the most common cause of TBI. It need not be from a particularly great distance to potentially cause a TBI.
    • A motor vehicle crash
    • Being struck by something / running into something (these can frequently happen when engaging in sports or other play activities)
    • Fighting
  3. Image titled Recognize TBI Symptoms (Traumatic Brain Injury) Step 2
    Watch out for any of the following for up to a few weeks after a head injury:
    • Changes in mood: child is excessively irritable, or is listless
    • Changes in eating habits: child lacks interest in food or nursing
    • Vomiting or Nausea
    • Child's sleeping habits are disrupted (insomnia or sleeping too much)
    • Child's normal play and school behavior change; increase in problem behaviors.
    • Child is overly tired or lacks interest in usual activities.
    • Child appears to have forgotten recently-acquired skills (e.g, toilet training).
    • Cannot console the child/help him to stop crying
    • Child displays problems with balance/walking
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    Seek treatment immediately for the child if you see any of these symptoms. A doctor is needed to confirm the diagnosis and recommend how to best care for TBI.



  • Traumatic brain injuries can result in life-long difficulties with normal activities. It is imperative that anyone who has suffered a TBI receive appropriate care.

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Categories: Neurological Disorders | Injury and Accidents