Does my child have a concussion?

By Mieke Vlok
20 July 2015

A bump to the head can be tricky for parents - how do you know if it's just a small knock or whether you need to be worried? We spoke to an expert to get some advice.

If the victim is or was unconscious, you need to summon emergency services, says Dr Julian Fleming, medical manager of the Western Cape health department’s emergency services division.

“Painkillers are useful after a minor head injury, but you should avoid strong pain killers as this may cause complications if the head injury is more serious.”

He warns that you should look out for the following symptoms of a concussion:

  • unsteadiness
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • blurred vision
  • headache

Call emergency services immediately if the person’s headache gets worse despite taking painkillers and if they’ve recently had brain surgery or are acting strangely, are nauseous, dizzy or weak. This also applies if they get convulsions, their sight deteriorates or they have a colourless or bloody discharge from their ears and nose.

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