Head or Brain Injury | Symptoms and Causes

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Contact the Brain Injury Center

What causes head and brain injuries in children?

Nearly any type of trauma can cause a head or brain injury in a child. Some of the most common causes include:

  • falls
  • sports injuries
  • motor vehicle accidents 
  • being hit by an object or another person

What are common symptoms of a head or brain injury?

The following symptoms may appear right away, or days or weeks after the injury:

  • headache
  • tiredness
  • sensitivity to noise or light
  • irritability or persistent crying
  • lightheadedness or dizziness
  • problems with balance
  • nausea
  • problems with memory or concentration 
  • sleeping more or less than usual
  • restless, agitated or unusual behavior
  • not wanting to eat or nurse
  • loss of interest in playing

If your child has any of these symptoms after a head injury, call your doctor. 

What symptoms need emergency care?

If your child has any of the following symptoms, seek emergency care right away:

  • trouble with balance or walking 
  • vomiting or nausea
  • slurred speech 
  • extreme tiredness or trouble being awakened
  • seizures or convulsions 
  • loss of consciousness (passing out) 
  • one pupil (black center of the eye) is larger than the other

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337

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