Kids bump into things all the time, especially when they've just started walking. But how can you tell a harmless bump, from a dangerous concussion?
So your little one is just learning how to walk, and all of a sudden, they lose their balance, and fall, hitting their head on the floor. You quickly rush to their side, and see that they bumped their head pretty bad. Should you be worried?
When should you worry about a fall or a head bump?
For the most part, kids are pretty tough. They can handle falls and bumps pretty well, though their crying might say otherwise. However, that doesn’t mean that kids don’t get injured, as sometimes a simple fall can be life threatening if your child hits or bumps their head too hard.
The signs of a head injury would be loss of consciousness, vomiting, lethargy, high pitched crying, headaches, and pupils that are bigger than normal, or are of different sizes. It’s important to note that there are some cases wherein the symptoms of a head injury show up days after the incident, so if you feel that your child injured themselves in a bad way, you need to monitor any change in behavior, and make sure to ask them if they feel anything wrong.
If your child falls pretty hard, or hits their head badly and you need to take them to a doctor, you need to make sure that they stay awake until you can get them to a doctor. Falling unconscious can be very dangerous in these cases, so even if your child is already struggling, you will need to keep them awake to keep them safe.
What can parents do?
First off, if you think that your child’s injury is severe, then don’t hesitate to take them to a doctor, just so you can be sure that the injury didn’t cause any permanent injury or damage to the brain. Sometimes, even mild injuries can cause headaches for days after the incident, in which case, taking your child to the doctor would be helpful.
In other cases, your child’s doctor might ask for a CT scan, just to make sure that there are no blood clots, or hematomas that were caused by the injury. Hematomas can often go undetected, and can be fatal, but thankfully, taking out the hematoma is a straightforward process that can be done by a specialist. The important thing is that it is detected early, since hematomas don’t always have obvious symptoms.
After the injury, make sure that your child avoids any activity that works their brain, which include watching television and playing video games. Smartphones and using gadgets are also a no-no, so it would be great if you can keep your child from doing any of those activities. They should also avoid any strenuous activity, or sports that include tumbling, so that there’s no risk of injuring themselves even further.
A follow-up checkup is also a good idea, especially if your child has headaches, or has problems speaking, or problems remembering things after the injury.
As always, prevention is the best way of dealing with a head injury, so make sure to teach your child to stay safe, and avoid letting them play in areas where they might bump their head, or fall and hit their head on the floor. If your child rides a bike, make sure that they’re always wearing a helmet, as well as proper safety equipment so that if they lose balance and fall, they won’t suffer from a grave injury.