I’ve mentioned on other posts about letting kids be kids and not to “helicopter” them too much. I don’t want to be that hysterical parent who brings their child to the ER for every bump and scrape. Since my husband is a nurse and works in the ER, he wouldn’t stand for it. However, with the death of Natasha Richardson, one can’t help but be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries. When children are first learning how to walk especially, there is ample opportunity for them to knock their craniums. Let’s face it, kids and accidents go together like chocolate and peanut butter. So what do you look for when this happens? Read on…
Scalp Injuries Are Most Common
Most injuries to a tot’s head result in an injury to the scalp, rather than the brain. The scalp has a high concentration of blood vessels, so while the injury may not be life threatening, it will likely bleed profusely.
Infants Show Different Signs
According to KidsHealth.org, if an infant has fallen on his head or if something strikes his head, call your doctor immediately if the tot has lost consciousness, won’t stop crying, complains of head or neck pain, is difficult to console or isn’t walking normally.
Treatment For Conscious Tots
Toddlers through teenagers who have suffered a head injury but have not lost consciousness and are behaving normally should apply an ice pack to their injury for 20 minutes and be observed for abnormal behavior for the next 24 hours.
Should the head injury occur close to bedtime, check on your lil one every two to three hours. Look for twitching limbs, changes in their skin color and abnormal breathing patterns. If all appears to be normal, allow your tot to get some much needed rest. If not, try to arouse your child. If she won’t awaken, call 911 immediately.
Signs of Internal Head Injuries
Internal injuries are more serious and often harder to spot. The CDC recommends calling an ambulance immediately if your tot is unconscious, having a seizure, bleeding or releasing clear fluid from the nose, ear or mouth, breathing abnormally, shows signs of disturbed speech or vision, has pupils of uneven size, is experiencing weakness or paralysis, has lost bladder control or has vomited more than two or three times.
Remember the best way to prevent head injuries is by wearing a helmet. Protective head gear should be worn when skiing, riding a bike, scootering, skateboarding or participating in any activity that involves moving quickly on an object.
Just last week, we were at my aunt’s place. Sure enough, my little one took a tumble and bumped his head. My father immediately started going on about “epidural hematoma”. Well, after assessing the situation, I declared that my son was OK. He wailed for five minutes and then became engrossed with my grandmother’s walker. He never lost consciousness, never threw up, and never became lethargic. No bruising and no broken skin. It’s difficult not to want to run to the doctor. But, if you’re calm and informed, you’ll actually enjoy their childhood rather than vegging out in the emergency room.
* courtesy of http://www.lilsugar.com/home?page=4#post_2969841