Infant conditions: What are the signs of a concussion?

Infants oftentimes end up with head injuries including a concussion. After sustaining a head injury, there is a possibility of a concussion or serious brain injury. A concussion is a minor brain injury that briefly disrupts with the brain function. The injury generally occurs if an infant sustains a direct strike to the head, often from a fall or being struck by a hard object.

The indications of a concussion in an infant is harder to detect than in older children or adults since infants could not express what they feel or experiencing. Nevertheless, there are signs that you should watch out for that might be an indication of the injury.

Loss of consciousness

Loss of consciousness or being momentarily knocked out indicates a concussion after sustaining a head injury. Remember that this often occurs for only a few seconds and might be hard to detect in infants.

In case the child becomes limp or appears unresponsive for a few seconds, he/she has lost consciousness briefly.

Altered mental state


A concussion is a minor brain injury that briefly disrupts with the brain function.

This covers a variety of signs brought about by the disrupted brain function. An alteration in the mental state after a blow to the head generally indicates a concussion or even a more serious form of brain injury. In most cases, these signs arise right after the injury or hours after such as:

  • Dazed appearance
  • Inconsolable crying
  • Poor eye contact
  • Diminished level of responsiveness to favorite toys or voice
  • Sluggishness or excessive drowsiness
  • Difficulty arousing the child from sleep
  • Sleeping more or reduced than normal
  • Increased fussiness, irritability or agitation
  • Lack of interest in eating or nursing
  • Unusual sensitivity to sound or light

What are the physical signs?

The formation of a bruise or lump on the head of the infant after a fall or another accident increases the possibility for a concussion.

The injury generally occurs after a strong blow to the head and the development of a bruise or lump is an indicator of the force of the impact.

Repeated episodes of vomiting are another possible physical sign of a concussion in an infant. Take note that vomiting is more forceful than spitting up which is common among infants.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on concussions among infants is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs of injury, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.


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