Child care: How to manage a head injury

A head injury is considered as a common injury among young children. Falls are common among children due to their mobile nature. This is one of the causes of head injuries internally which are more serious than the external injuries to the scalp and always require medical care.

The suitable care when an infant strikes his/her head depends on the age, nature of impact and the symptoms that develop. A doctor should be consulted right away if worried when a child sustained a blow to the head.

Emergency care

An abrupt blow or jolt to the head can cause a concussion which is considered as a mild brain injury. Call for emergency assistance if symptoms of a concussion manifest such as dizziness, headache, vomiting, thinking problems and difficult to awaken.

Call for emergency assistance if the child experiences a seizure or loses consciousness for more than a minute, inability to move the neck normally, slurred speech, bleeding, weakness in the legs or arms and confusion.

When to consult a doctor

A doctor should be consulted if the following factors are present:

  • Child is less than 1 year old
  • Symptoms of concussion or another brain injury are present
    Head injury

    If the child does not have any symptoms of a concussion, you can apply an ice pack on the injury for about 20 minutes.

  • Endured a direct hit from a hard object
  • Fallen from a height twice his/her height
  • Injury was due to a vehicular accident or other high-speed scenario
  • Blurry vision
  • Presence of a large-sized dent in his/her skull
  • Swelling bigger than an inch

A doctor should be consulted if the child experiences an intense headache, crying continuously or could not recall what occurred. The doctor must be informed if there is drainage of fluid from the nose or ears. If these symptoms are not present, the child can be treated at home.

What to do for a minor head injury?

If the child does not have any symptoms of a concussion, you can apply an ice pack on the injury for about 20 minutes. The treatment can be repeated every 3-4 hours.

Due to the large amount of blood being supplied to the scalp, a minor head injury can cause big-sized lumps on the head, excess bleeding or black eyes after 1-3 days after the injury. Fractures on the skull occur less frequently and typically heal without any issues which only cause an ache at the area of impact.

What to do for the bumps and bruises?

In case the child does not have any indications of a serious injury after being struck in the head, he/she might have a possible injury to the scalp. The bumps to the head typically cause a swelling or bruise on the scalp.

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