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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and concussion are among the most prolific afflictions of young adults and children. TBI is the leading cause of death and severe debilitation for people under 45 and can lead to chronic conditions if the patient survives.

TBI and concussion can seriously harm children, resulting in chronic pain, headaches, light sensitivity, and speech impediments. Although many of these symptoms aren't unique to TBI, you may be uncertain how to know.

Keep reading to learn more about this condition, its symptoms, and potential treatments!

How Do You Know If A Child Has A Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms differ slightly in children than adults. Additionally, it can be more challenging to identify TBI symptoms in children under five than in older children. Adults usually exhibit hallucinations, migraines, and difficulty focusing.

While children exhibit these symptoms at times, there are several more common signs to be aware of in kids. We'll deep dive into the most common symptoms of TBI in children below, but first, we'll explore causes and diagnoses.

People recently in an accident or some other event that caused trauma to the skull or shook the brain are the most likely to experience TBI. Older children can suffer TBI after sporting accidents, automobile collisions, or severe falls.

Younger children are more susceptible to injury than older children. The leading causes of TBI In little kids includes physical abuse, falling, being dropped by a caregiver, and play-related injuries. It can be more challenging to determine if a young child has TBI since they might be incapable of expressing their pain and feeling unwell.

Diagnosis of TBI in children depends on their age. Diagnosing TBI in kids under five usually involves checking the eyes, the impact site, and the child's balance and alertness. Diagnosing TBI in older kids involves

Five Most Common Signs and Symptoms of TBI in Children

When identifying signs and symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in children, there are a few key indicators to look out for. The five most common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Physical disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Impaired vision
  • Difficulty balancing or maintaining coordination.

Other signs include cognitive and behavioral shifts, sleep disturbances, light and noise sensitivity, and speech impediments.


One study found that approximately 1 in 10 children seen in the emergency department for mild TBI experienced headaches 15 days after the injury. Post-traumatic headache is one of the most common complaints following pediatric TBI and may persist long-term.

Pay attention to complaints of headaches, especially if a child didn't usually get headaches before an injury. While headaches aren't uncommon in children of any age, they could indicate a more serious underlying condition. If your child recently experienced a traumatic head blow, consult their doctor if they experience persistent pain or severe headaches.

Headaches could also be caused by stress or a lack of sleep. While it's better to be safe and see a doctor, the child may not be experiencing any serious issues due to TBI.

Dizziness and Vomiting

Children may experience dizziness after a severe concussion or contusion. Dizziness is typically the by-product of migraines and light sensitivity. This pain and dizziness can occasionally lead to vomiting from persistent pain and throbbing.

If the child doesn't have a history of migraines and dizziness, these symptoms are strong indicators of TBI.

Sensitive Eyes or Pupil Dilation

Call emergency services if a child is experiencing pupil dilation immediately after a blow to the head. Eye sensitivity and dilation indicate serious injury to the brain and brain stem.

While these symptoms aren't always severe, they could mean there's damage to the child's brain stem. A child must get medical attention right away.

Tiredness and Mood Changes

Tiredness and mood changes are two of the most common symptoms of TBI. Rule out any external factors which could be causing sleep deprivation or stress in the child's life, which could cause mood shifts.

However, if a child has been in an accident and suddenly exhibits mood shifts and tiredness, see a doctor. Mood shifts and changes in behavior could indicate that there was damage inflicted in the area of the brain that regulates behavior and hormones.

Speech Impediments

Language difficulties are especially prevalent in young children exposed to continuous abuse and head trauma. While TBI-related speech issues can also manifest in older children, they're usually harder to identify in young kids. Speech impairments in older kids are more noticeable but are less evident in young children.

Speech impairment can occur in children from persistent injuries to the skull or a single injury. If a child suddenly stops speaking after head trauma, immediately take them to the emergency room.

Can Acupuncture Help Treat Symptoms of Concussion in Children?

Acupuncture can help alleviate the symptoms of a concussion or TBI but can't cure the injury. Acupuncture relieves and reverses signs of TBI in several clinical trials, including poor sleep quality and fatigue.

The American Pediatric Association doesn't take either opinion regarding acupuncture for children. This means they don't find it dangerous for children or recommend against using it.

Acupuncture was used on people of all ages in ancient China for thousands of years, with a long history of being an effective treatment for ailments. Twenty-three randomized clinical trials indicated that acupuncture is an effective tool for treating common childhood ailments. This includes many symptoms of TBI and concussion, like vomiting, sleep issues, fatigue, and headaches. In some cases, acupuncture helped patients with severe brain trauma regain mobility and heal the pains in the body. In one case, a patient suffered a severe brain injury after snowboarding at a ski resort. According to reports, the patient regained balance, improved their speech, and reported decreased pain throughout the body.

Acupuncture helps relieve headaches, improve balance, and prevent symptoms of vertigo and nausea. Even though it won't cure the injury, it is one of the most effective tools for regaining control of your life after concussion and TBI.

Where to Get Your Child the Best Care For TBI and Concussion Symptoms?

TBI and concussions can be debilitating and painful experiences. While many mainstream doctors recommend painkillers, many patients fear the adverse side effects of these medications. Fortunately, acupuncture triggers the body's natural healing and pain-relieving systems. Although, you don't want an unskilled or untrained acupuncturist treating your child. Fast Relief Acupuncture offers various treatments, including migraine and chronic pain relief. Reach out today and start your child's journey of recovery.


My Name is John Kim

I have been a licensed acupuncturist since 2000. When I first started my acupuncture career, my primary goal as a practitioner was to help people anguishing from living with pain everyday of their lives. I have seen on numerous occasions what chronic pain can do to a person physically but also seen how it can debilitate a person’s psyche as well.

Throughout the years, I have studied, developed and incorporated a very unique treatment protocol that has successfully treated and effectively reduced pain levels on chronic pain patients. I have combined traditional methods of acupuncture along with modern, research proven techniques to help reduce chronic pain symptoms in a safe, non- chemically addictive, and effective process.

If you have any of the following:

  • Headache/ Migraine
  • Arthritis/ Stenosis
  • Nerve pain
  • Neck/Back pain
  • Fibromyalgia pain
  • Allergies
  • TMJ
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Scar Tissue
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Do not hesitate and contact me!

I am here to help you to feel your very best!

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