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Car accidents can often result in trauma to the head as the forces of the collision move your head forward and then backwards into the seat headrest. Although we commonly refer to these injuries as a ‘concussion’, they are more technically a ‘traumatic brain injury’. Obviously this is something that can be quite serious and should be monitored closely. You may not have any symptoms at the scene of the collision and may only become aware of problems days or even weeks later. The effects of a concussion can be seen in both physical and psychological ways.

Here are some of the symptoms of a concussion:

Adults
· Low-grade headaches that won’t go away
· Having more trouble than usual:
o Remembering things
o Paying attention or concentrating
o Organizing daily tasks
o Making decisions and solving problems
· Slowness in thinking, acting, speaking, or reading
· Getting lost or easily confused
· Neck pain
· Feeling tired all the time, lack of energy
· Change in sleeping pattern:
o Sleeping for much longer periods of time than before
o Trouble sleeping or insomnia
· Loss of balance, feeling light-headed or dizzy
· Increased sensitivity to:
o Sounds
o Lights
o Distractions
· Blurred vision or eyes that tire easily
· Loss of sense of taste or smell
· Ringing in the ears
· Change in sexual drive
· Mood changes:
o Feeling sad, anxious, or listless
o Becoming easily irritated or angry for little or no reason
o Lack of motivation

Young Children
Although children can have the same symptoms of brain injury as adults, it is harder for young children to let others know how they are feeling. Call your child’s doctor if your child seems to be getting worse or if you notice any of the following:
· Listlessness, tiring easily
· Irritability, crankiness
· Change in eating or sleeping patterns
· Change in the way they play
· Change in the way they perform or act at school
· Lack of interest in favorite toys

See more at the Brainline.org website

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