A blow to the head during a motor vehicle accident can result in a traumatic brain injury. Symptoms of TBI do not always show up right away. Therefore, it is important to observe both passengers and drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident for troubling signs and symptoms.

If the crash involved passengers who are young children, it is particularly important to observe them for symptoms because they may not be able to describe their feelings verbally. Both children and adults may exhibit danger signs of TBI requiring immediate medical attention.

Adults’ danger signs

The Centers for Disease Control and Protection describe danger signs of TBI in adults. Some of the most notable include loss of consciousness, convulsions or seizures, uneven pupils and persistent, worsening headache. An adult with TBI may also demonstrate the following symptoms:

  • Unusual behavior or confusion
  • Excess drowsiness/decreased alertness
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or lack of coordination

Children’s danger signs

The symptoms of TBI in children may be similar to those in adults, meaning than any of the preceding warning signs observed in children warrant immediate medical treatment. According to the Mayo Clinic, parents should also obtain immediate medical attention for children who display inconsolable crying or unusual irritability, as well as changes in feeding or sleeping habits following a head injury. A loss of interest in favorite activities or toys, change in attentiveness or unusual depressed mood are also causes for concern.

A mild TBI has a lesser effect on brain function than those that are moderate or severe. Nevertheless, it is still a serious injury warranting medical evaluation for prompt diagnosis and treatment.