mriBumps and bruises are common with children of all ages. While anyone may bang their head from time to time, children and toddlers who are still growing into their coordination, who are busy running around playing and who otherwise may feel slightly invincible at times, may be more prone to banging their heads than older children and adults. While most head injuries are not serious, there are times when emergency medical attention may be required to ensure the well-being of a child.

Preventing Head Injuries in Children
While all children tend to take a tumble from time to time, there are steps that you can take as a parent to minimize these incidents. For example;

  • Falling from an elevated height is one of the most common causes of head injuries in children. Therefore, you can consider monitoring young children and keeping them from climbing or playing high above the ground.
  • Ensure that windows are securely locked, and talk to your children about what a safe height is for jumping when they are playing.
  • You can attempt to keep your eyes on your child at all times, but there are times when this simply is not possible. Therefore, talk to your child regularly about making smart decisions about playing safely.

It is important to make your children aware of the consequences of falling and suffering serious head injuries.

Signs of A Serious Head Injury
Head injuries are considered more serious that those in other areas of the body due to how close the bone is to the surface of the skin and the presence of many blood vessels. When this area is impacted, it is common for a large bump to appear very quickly. This may lead you to believe that the issue is a serious one, but this is not necessarily the case.

In addition, this area of the body is also prone to more bleeding when cut than other areas of the body, but you’ll observe that the bleeding may stop very soon and that’s an indication that the issue is not serious.

  • A serious injury to this area of the bone is one where the cut is deep and stitches are needed.
  • This also includes cases where trauma to the brain may have occurred. It is important to note that brain trauma may be immediately noticeable, or it may take up to 24 hours to notice due to swelling.
  • Look for signs of confusion, dizziness, lack of coordination, speech difficulty and other related issues that may indicate a brain injury.

At the first sign of even a minor concern, medical attention may be required.

What You Can Do
If an individual is knocked unconscious, contact 911 for more advice and guidance.

  • If an individual remains conscious but signs of head trauma are apparent, you need to monitor the situation.
  • Head trauma requires medical attention, and it is up to those nearby to determine if 911 should be contacted or if they should drive the individual to the nearest emergency room on their own.
  • The severity of the symptoms may be a guiding factor in making this decision.

To conclude, there are times when head injuries may look bad, but may require nothing more than an ice pack and an over-the-counter pain medication. On the other hand, some seemingly minor head injuries can be quite serious and even fatal at times. It is best for those who are with the person who has suffered a head injury to actively monitor the individual for about 24 hours after the injury to look for signs of trauma to the brain. When left untreated, a serious head injury may result in brain damage or death. That’s why prompt medical attention is important for anyone who suffers a head injury.

For more information, visit Careworks.

Author:  Michele Holincheck, FNP