Special Needs

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (Concussion)

A mild traumatic brain injury is also called a “concussion.” In children under the age of six years, concussions are most commonly caused by falls, motor vehicle crashes, bicycle crashes or other sports related injuries, being struck by/against objects, and assault (e.g. shaken baby syndrome). It can be more difficult to recognize the symptoms of a concussion in infants, toddlers or preschoolers because they communicate differently than older children.

If the child presents with one or more of the following behaviours that are different from the child’s norm, consider this a red flag:

 Headache or persistent rubbing of their head
 Nausea or vomiting
 Unsteady walking, loss of balance or poor coordination
 Loss of ability to carry out newly learned skills, e.g. toilet training, speech
 Lack of interest in favourite toys
 Cranky, irritable or difficult to console
 Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
 Tiring easily or listlessness
 Sensitivity to light or noise
 Visual problems

If any of the following symptoms develop, consider this a red flag and take the child to the local emergency department/seek medical attention immediately

 Loss of consciousness

 Large bumps, bruising or unexplained swelling on the head

 Increased drowsiness or difficult to rouse

 Neck pain

 Repeated vomiting

 Blood or fluid in the ear

 Pupils are unequal in size


 Increased confusion e.g. cannot recognize people or places

 Slurred speech

 Weakness, numbness in arms/legs

 Changes in behaviour e.g. irritability, aggression

Having more general concerns about a child's development?

Having difficulty coping? Need some advice?