A hit to the head: When to take action A hit to the head: When to take action

Concussions are often only minor injuries. But because they involve such a critical organ, they should never be ignored.

After a hit to the head, it is first common for the person to appear unharmed and not show any symptoms, which can take up to 48 hours to appear after the accident. It is therefore recommended to always seek medical attention after such an accident.

Some signs can indicate whether the injury is serious such as a fracture, concussion or a traumatic brain injury. As Christopher Giza, a neurologist and pediatrician at the University of California, explains to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), “In order to make a diagnosis, signs and symptoms of abnormal brain functioning must be observed.”

The force and speed of the impact can make that cranium or brain move, damaging nerves or internal tissues. It is therefore important to watch for the following symptoms, listed below by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and seek immediate medical attention if they are present:

  •        Loss of consciousness or disorientation
  •        Dizziness or nausea
  •        Problems of balance
  •        Repeated bouts of vomiting
  •        A severe and persistent headache that worsens over time
  •        Seizures

Related article: Therapy: key to treating traumatic brain injuries)