Any blow to the head must be taken seriously. Actress Natasha Ricardson, who unfortunately died after receiving, which seemed to be a minor blow to the head. Concussions are basically a bruising of the brain and can have several degrees of seriousness. Some can be as simple as the victim experiencing some mild confusion. Others that are more serious, can have extended loss of consciousness with memory loss and coordination problems. In most cases, concussions will heal over time and do not cause longer term or permanent effects. Although repeated concussions can lead to a cumulative effect, which may cause permanent or longer term neurological problems.
Kids invariably hit their heads, many times, as they are growing-up. Running them to the hospital each time would be expensive and not necessary. If your child or any adult receives a blow to the head, do a quick and easy examination of the victim. If any of the following items are observed, call 911 immediately and keep the patient still and calm as you wait for help to come.
After receiving a blow to the head:
- The victim losses consciousness, no matter how short a time period.
- The victim experiences confusion.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Blurred vision.
- Memory loss.
- Headache which seems to be getting worse.
- Repeating the same thing over and over (ie. asking what happened several times, even after you explained the occurrence).
- Unequal pupil size.
- The victims eyes unable (or skipping) to follow your finger, as you move it back and forth in front of their face.
- Complaining of neck or back pain.
If they do not experience any of these symptoms, some ice on the area can help control swelling and the uses of acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibiprofun (Motrin, Aleve) can help with any discomfort. When in doubt, always play if safe and have the individual seen by a physician.