Your child’s nausea and vomiting can be caused by various factors, from stomach bugs to stress. However, when these symptoms occur following a head injury, they could be indicative of a concussion – a mild form of traumatic brain injury.
Understanding when nausea and vomiting are signs of a concussion is crucial, especially in children. In such scenarios, seeking expert advice is vital, and there’s no one better to turn to than Dr. Henry Hasson, a leading pediatric neurologist in Brooklyn, New York, renowned for his expertise in diagnosing and treating concussions in children.
In this article, he walks you through how to recognize a concussion and what to do about it.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. It can also occur from a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth inside the skull.
This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.
Symptoms of a concussion
Concussions can cause a range of symptoms, varying in severity and duration. Common symptoms include headache, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears, sleepiness, and excessive fatigue.
In children, these signs can be more subtle and include changes in eating or sleeping patterns, irritability, and loss of interest in their favorite activities.
When to suspect a concussion
If your child experiences nausea and vomiting following a head injury, it’s essential to consider the possibility of a concussion. While these symptoms can arise from other causes, their occurrence after a head impact significantly raises the concern for a concussion.
The key is to observe the context and additional symptoms. If nausea and vomiting are accompanied by headache, dizziness, or confusion after a head injury, it’s time to seek medical attention.
Why nausea and vomiting occur in concussions
Nausea and vomiting in the context of a concussion are believed to result from the brain’s response to the injury. The rapid motion of the brain inside the skull can disrupt the normal functioning of brain regions responsible for regulating nausea and vomiting. Additionally, the stress response from the injury can aggravate these symptoms.
Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosing a concussion involves a thorough medical evaluation, including a physical examination and sometimes neuroimaging tests like a CT scan or MRI.
Treatment typically includes rest and a gradual return to normal activities, guided by Dr. Hasson. In cases in which symptoms like nausea and vomiting persist, further medical evaluation is necessary.
Nausea and vomiting following a head injury should never be ignored, especially in children. While various factors can cause these symptoms, their occurrence after a head injury increases the likelihood of a concussion.
In such situations, the expertise and care provided by Dr. Hasson is invaluable. When it comes to your child’s health, choosing the right care is critical. Book an appointment online with Dr. Hasson today or call 718-785-9828 if you suspect your child has a concussion.