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Head Injury: When Is It Serious?

by on October 13, 2011

As every parent and family member knows, whenever your child or loved one hits his or her head, there’s always that sinking feeling. There’s good reason for this concern as head injuries are more extensive than many may realize. In fact, head injuries are the most common cause of death and disability among youngsters according to the Brain Injury Association of America.

When head injuries occur, the first question is always, “do we need to go to the emergency room?” Especially with younger children, but even with adults, a head injury victim may not realize the severity of the injury. In addition, serious head injuries can occur without evidence of external injury. For example, there may be no blood and, in some cases, only minor swelling. Thus, every head injury should be taken seriously, and, even without external symptoms, it is critical to carefully observe the behavior of the injured person for several days.

According to, the following symptoms usually warrant immediate medical attention: unconsciousness, confusion or disorientation immediately after the head injury or after some time has passed, persistent or worsening headache, imbalance, vomiting, memory loss, mood changes, drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, unequal pupil size, weak limbs on one side of the body, and lethargy. Other possible symptoms include difficulty understanding language, difficulty speaking, depression, anxiety, less control over body movement, altered perception of music, and inability to pay attention.

Although it’s not always fun or convenient, we urge you to always carefully consider seeking medical attention in these situations.

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