A mild brain injury (also known as a concussion) is typically caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. It’s important that your baby or toddler is assessed by a doctor after any form of head injury. Mild brain injuries are common in children under two years and are often caused by:
- trips and falls
- accidents and car accidents
- being struck on the head by an object.
When should you seek medical attention?
It can be difficult to know if your child needs to go to the hospital. Seek help if you are worried about your baby/toddler. Some reasons to seek help include:
- child is under 6 months old and you are worried about them
- child loses consciousness
- child is sleeping more or less than usual
- repeated vomiting
- child is more easily upset, crying more than usual, or increased temper tantrums
- changes in eating
- changes in motor skills
- lack of interest in toys and games
- seizures or twitching of the arms or legs.
What will happen at hospital?
Doctors and other health professionals may assess your child to see if an injury has occurred. Doctors may ask how the accident happened and about how your baby is feeding and playing. It’s important to tell doctors about any changes in your baby’s behaviour after the injury.
Helping your baby to recover
Most babies get back to normal within a few days of their injury.
- Allow your baby to rest for a day or two. Avoid late nights and try to get them to bed at the same time each night.
- Sometimes the doctor may advise you to give your child Children’s paracetamol for one or two days.
- Try to maintain your child’s normal routines, such as sleeping, naptime, and mealtime routines.
- After two to three days, your child should be back to sleeping in their own bed.
It’s important to share these tips with anyone who may be looking after your baby in the period after their injury.
Talk to your GP or paediatrician if you are worried about your baby’s development.
To avoid another injury, it can be helpful to review your home for potential hazards (e.g. block off stairways, ensuring cabinets, TVs, and furniture items are secured) and check that your child cannot fall out any windows. The www.kidsafeqld.com.au website provides helpful tips and information to help prevent accidental injuries at home.
Follow up appointments
You may be required to attend follow up appointments with your doctor after your initial visit to the hospital (if there was an initial visit). It is important to attend these appointments to check that your baby is recovering well. It is also a good time to discuss any concerns regarding your baby.
You may also receive a phone call from a clinical nurse who will ask you questions about how your baby is recovering. The nurse can also provide advice or information if you have any concerns about your baby.
Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service
Queensland Children’s Hospital
Level 6, 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane 4101
t: 07 3068 2950
t: 07 3068 1111 (general enquiries)
f: 07 3068 3909
In an emergency, always call 000.
If it’s not an emergency but you have any concerns, contact 13 Health (13 43 2584). Qualified staff will give you advice on who to talk to and how quickly you should do it. You can phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.