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  Many children who hurt their heads get well and have no long-term problems. Some children have problems that may not be noticed right away. You may see changes in your child over the next several months that concern you. This poster lists some common signs that your child may have a mild brain injury. lf your child has any of the problems on thislist AND THEY DON'T GO AWAY - see the ďWhat to DoĒ box.


  • Headaches that keep coming back
  • Pain in the head muscle
  • pain below the ear
  • pain in the jaw
  • pain in or around the eyes


These problems donít happen often.
If your child has any of them,
see your doctor right away.

  • A severe headache that does not go away or get better
  • A seizures: eyes fluttering, body going stiff, staring into space
  • A child forgets everything, amnesia
  • A hands shake, tremors, muscles get weak, loss ofmuscle tone
  • A nausea or vomiting that returns
  • dizziness
  • trouble wth balance

  • can't sleep through the night

  • sleeps too much

  • days and nights get mixed up

  • bothered by smells
  • changes in taste or1 smell
  • appetite changes

  • neck and shoulder pain that happens a lot
  • other unexplained body pain
  • ringing on the ears
  • hearing loss
  • bothered by noises
  • cant handle normal background noise
  • feels too hot
  • feels too cold
  • doesn't feel temperature at all
  • blurry vision
  • seeing double
  • hard to see clearly (hard to focus)
  • bothered by light

Behavior and Feeling
Changes in Personality, mood and behavior

  • is irritable, anxious, restless

  • gets upset or frustrated easily

  • overreacts. cries or laughs too easily

  • has mood swings

  • wants to be alone or away from people

  • is afraid of others, blames others

  • wants to be taken care of

  • does not know how to act with people

  • takes risks without thinking first

  • is sad, depressed

  • doesnít want to do anything, canít ďget startedĒ

  • is tired, drowsy

  • is slow to respond

  • trips, falls, drops things, is awkward

  • eats too little, eats all the time, or eats things that arenít food

  • has different sexual behavior (older children)

  • starts using or has a different reaction to alcohol or drugs

  • takes off clothes in public

Thinking Problems
  • has trouble remembering things

  • has trouble paying attention

  • reacts slowly

  • thinks slowly

  • takes things too literally, doesnít get jokes

  • understands words but not their meaning

  • thinks about the same thing over and over

  • has trouble learning new things

  •  has trouble putting things in order (desk, room, papers)

  • has trouble making decisions

  • has trouble planning, starting, doing, and finishing a task

  • has trouble remembering to do things on time

  • makes poor choices (loss of common sense)



If your child has any of the problems on this list, and they donít go away:

  • A Ask your childís doctor to have your child seen by a specialist in head injury who can help your child learn skills (rehabilitation).
  • Ask your childís doctor to have your child seen by a Board-certified Neuropsychologist. This specialist can help you understand and deal with your childís behavior and feeling changes.
  • Call the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey
    for more information:

(732) 738-1002 Main Office
1-800-669-4323 Family Helpline
(in New Jersey)

  •  changes the subject. has trouble staying on topic

  • has trouble thinking of the right word

  • has trouble listening

  • has trouble paying attention, canít have long conversations

  • does not say things clearly

  • has trouble reading

  • talks too much

Brain Injury Association
of New Jersey, Inc.
1090 King George Post Road ē
Suite 708
Edison, NJ 08837

The printing of this poster is made possible through the New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Fund, administered by the New Jersey Department of Human Services. Division of Disability Services.



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