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The flu season is off to an early and strong start. Flu activity has been reported as widespread in at least 46 states, including Indiana. Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health is currently restricting visitors to protect patients and prevent further spreading. Learn more.

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When to Call the Doctor about Head Injuries

Whether it’s from a spill on a bike, a fall from a tree or a hard hit on the field, a knock on the head should never be taken lightly. Head injuries can range from minor to severe. So, how can you tell the difference between a bump on the head and something more serious, such as a concussion? Here are some guidelines so that you will know what to do if your child has a head injury.

Call your doctor if the following symptoms occur after a head injury:

  • Balance problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Confusion
  • Headache that is not relieved by pain medicine
  • Irritability
  • Lightheadedness and/or dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Problems with memory and/or concentration
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sensitivity to noise and light

Call 9-1-1 or seek immediate medical attention if any of the following symptoms occur after a head injury:

  • Blood or clear fluid draining from the ears or nose
  • Deep cut or laceration in the scalp
  • Difficulty remembering the events that led right up to and through the traumatic event
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Repeated nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Severe headache that does not go away
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble standing or walking
  • Uneven pupils (dark area in the center of the eye)
  • Weakness in one side or area of the body

There are other actions you can take as well. Learn the proper way to treat a head injury and take precautions to help prevent head injuries including wearing a bicycle helmet, buckling your seatbelt and wearing the appropriate sports equipment when at play.

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