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Head Injury Advice

May 22, 2015 2:20 pm Published by

If your child falls and hits his/her head, there are two main types of injuries which can occur: internal and external injuries:

External injuries are by far the most common. They are injuries to the scalp, like the “goose egg” which is a little bleeding or fluid leakage from the scalp veins and looks bad but is harmless. Hold ice on the injury for 20 minutes every few hours for the first 24-48 hours. Another external injury is the scalp laceration, which tends to bleed a lot. Hold some direct pressure to stop the bleeding and then inspect the area. If there is still some oozing, gaping of the wound, or the bleeding will not stop, then you should seek medical attention.

Internal injuries, although less common, are more serious. If your child falls and hits his/her head but you cannot see any external injury, you will need to watch for signs of internal injury. If you observe any of the following, you should seek medical attention:

  • your child is an infant
  • loss of consciousness
  • vomiting more than two times
  • won’t stop crying/becomes difficult to console
  • won’t awaken easily
  • isn’t walking right
  • complains of head or neck pain
  • has a seizure

After ANY head injury please observe your child closely for the next 24 hours and if you are worried that he or she is not acting right please seek medical attention.

If a head injury occurs close to bedtime or naptime and your child appears to be fine soon after the incident, it is ok to let them go to sleep. You will need to check in on them once or twice to look for normal color and breathing. If they look fine, you don’t need to awaken them. If their color or breathing doesn’t look right to you, awaken them by sitting them up. They should fuss a bit and then attempt to settle themselves. If they do not, you will need to awaken them fully. If they still are not acting right, seek medical attention.

Please safeguard against head injuries by making sure your child wears a properly fitted bike helmet, infants are not left unattended on beds, sofas, or high surfaces, infants and children are strapped into high chairs, changing tables, shopping carts, strollers, and crib mattresses are set as low to the ground as possible.

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This post was written by Lancaster Pediatrics