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When to go to the ER for a concussion

Concussions are usually not life-threatening, and most people with a concussion make a quick and full recovery. However, the effects of a concussion can be serious, and can last for weeks or even longer. It may take longer for older adults, young children, and teens to recover. If you've had a concussion before, you are at higher risk of having another one, and may also take longer to recover.

Go to the ER if you have:

  • A headache that gets worse and does not go away. This is rare, but may be caused by a blood clot.
  • Weakness, numbness or decreased coordination
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Slurred speech

The people checking on you should take you to the ER right away if you:

  • Look very drowsy or cannot be awakened
  • Have one pupil (the black part in the middle of the eye) larger than the other
  • Have convulsions or seizures
  • Cannot recognize people or places
  • Are getting more and more confused, restless, or agitated
  • Have unusual behavior
  • Lose consciousness, even if for a very short time

Take your child to the ER right away if they:

  • Have any of the danger signs for adults listed above
  • Will not stop crying and cannot be consoled
  • Will not nurse or eat.

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