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Child bumped head, crying for long. Minor concussion?

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Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 1680 Questions
Hi doctor, my 2 year old son had a head bump yesterday, and his after behavior a bit concerned me. He was jumping on a trampoline in the park, and bumped his side of head on the edge which is made of very thick solid wood. The edge was padded (but I can still feel the wood under the pad), so I was not expecting him to be too upset from that bump. But his reaction is out of my expectation and there are a few things made me worry. First, he didn't cry immediately. He looked surprised at first and started to cry after 2 seconds. He cried hard for a few minutes. I tried to comfort him and encourage him to jump again. He tried, but every time he jumped a little bit and started to cry again. So, it made me feel that he was really bothered by the head bump. That's not like him. He usually doesn't cry hard and goes back to play immediately after a little bump. And even after he stopped crying, he seemed unhappy and tired for a while. It takes him 20 minutes to go back to his normal happy mood. And he is fine since then. I should say I am not expecting his reaction like this since the edge of trampoline is padded. But his reaction made me worry. Does it sounds like a minor concussion? He is absolutely fine after the initial 20 minutes, no vomits, no other signs. But I just cannot help to think that way, and will appreciate your expert's opinion. Thank you.
Posted Wed, 3 Oct 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Ratnakar Kini 24 minutes later
I am Dr.Ratnakar Kini and I would be answering your question.

It is very difficult to recognize concussion in toddlers as they cannot communicate well.

Some of the symptoms which may point towards concussion are irritability, altered sleep pattern, loss of interest in his favourite things like toys and unsteady walking.

Since he is fine now, there is no need to worry.

But it is recommended to get him examined by his doctor though an ER visit is not needed.
As long as he is alert and responding to you, there is no need for any further testing.

Emergency care if needed only if any of the following is seen -
1. Persistent vomiting
2. Irritability
3. Seizures
4. Loss of consciousness
5. Bleeding from ears and nose

I hope that answers your question.

If you have no more questions, accept this answer and rate this service.

Dr.Ratnakar Kini
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child bumped head, crying for long. Minor concussion? 32 minutes later

Thank you. I agree an ER trip would be too extreme. I just hate the thought about a minor concussion and the affect to his brain. I think during the initial 20 minutes after the bump, he was kind of irritable, and lost his interest in the trampoline which he loved before. But he has been absolutely fine after that. And the surface he bumped his head on is padded (with solid wood underneath). How likely he got a minor concussion from this kind of bump? Thank you.

Answered by Dr. Ratnakar Kini 21 minutes later
I understand your agony.
Though he hit a padded surface, the force with which he hit also matters.

Even if he is not having any of the above mentioned danger signs, I would still advise you to get him examined by his doctor in his office and it is also the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

If you have no more questions, kindly accept this answer and rate this service.

Dr.Ratnakar Kini
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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