How Dangerous Is The Toddler’s Head Injury & Head Bump

As soon as the baby starts to roll over, the worry of the mother about the chances of her baby falling begins. The anxiety increases as the baby grows. Why, because as the baby grows the chances and intensity of the consequences of the fall also increases. Initially, they only have to worry about the baby falling from bed, which to an extent she can take precautions and bring down the chances. However, as the baby grows, and learn to crawl, stand up, and walk, and starts to explore the surroundings, the chances of hitting their head increases.  

Just sit and watch your child while he plays. You will understand a few facts. Your baby is falling down more than you think. He more frequently hit his head. And look around your house or park or where ever you are with your toddler. You will suddenly aware of the potential dangers like the corners of your coffee tables, stairs, slippery floor, stairs, and what not. It seems like a head injury threat is hanging about around every corner, increasing the odds of minor or major head injuries.

Why the babies hit their head more frequently?

  • Toddlers are not able to control the movement of their heads as good as the big children why, because;
  • Toddler's heads are larger in proportion to the body and their legs are somewhat shorter in proportion to the rest of their bodies. This makes a child's center of gravity closer to the head than an adult's center of gravity, and therefore, whenever the baby falls, he or she more likely hit their head.
  • Their neck muscles are not as well developed as well to hold their head from hitting the ground.
  • And above all, the odds of accident are very high as they learn new skills such as walking, running, and jumping.

Types of head injury in toddlers:

The injury can be either external or internal.

External head injury in toddler:

Just like any other part of the body, the skin on your child’s head (scalp) is rich with blood vessels. , Whenever the baby hit the head, it is usually the scalp gets injured. Because of the abundance of blood vessels here, even a minor cut there can bleed a lot. If there is no cut, then, there could be blood and fluid accumulation under the skin. This is what we call as a head bump which may take a week to disappear. Both these outcomes are even though scary and painful for baby and you, it is not that serious or life threatening situation.

These injuries heal well and can be treated the same as injuries to other parts of the body. If the cut is deep you need medical assistance to place a sutures or else home treatment is alone is needed to stop bleeding and healing of the cut. 

Internal head injury in toddlers:

Before you guess an internal injury, you should remember that our body itself taken a lot of measures to save this important internal organ from possible injuries.  The brain is very well protected and is encased within the hard skull and is surrounded by Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear fluid that cushions the brain from damage. This will save the brain from most of the possible injuries. However, a severe blow to the head can bring about a skull fracture. This can lead to rupture of blood vessels in the brain and pave the way to different types of significant issues. This is as dangerous as it sounds and can be life threatening as well.

What is concussion?

Concussion is usually caused by a blow to the head. The head injury can hinder with normal brain function. The effects are usually temporary and the intensity of the concussion usually depends on the speed with which the head got hit, the age and size of the kid and the surface on which the head was hit. The signs of concussion include  headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.

When to Worry?

As the toddlers are prone to falling down and hitting heads it very important for you to differentiate normal head hits from serious one. How do you know when to worry and when you can relax and observe at home? The table given below will help you. Source, here

Seek Immediate Medical Attention if:

Worry less if:

Your child loses consciousness or appears confused or drowsy.

He does not lose consciousness or has a less than 5-second appearance of being stunned

Changes in pupil size, blurry or double vision, or eyes not moving correctly (one or both eyes do not move appropriately when the child look up down, or to the side

Pupils appear normal, eyes move normally and your child doesn’t complain of visual difficulty (double vision, blurred vision, inability to see fully out of one or both eyes)

Weakness or inability to move one or both arms or legs & walks with difficulty or clumsiness

Wants to play shortly after injury, no weakness or changes in gait or coordination

Severe headache

Mild headache or only complains of headache when you ask

Vomiting more than twice or late-onset vomiting

Vomiting once or vomiting than begins 3 or more days after the head injury

Clear fluid or blood draining from the nose or ears, constant slow drip of fluid from the nose

Runny nose associated with crying and resolves once the crying subsides

Bleeding from the scalp that won’t stop

Bleeding that stops after 5 to 10 minutes of pressure and a cut less than one centimeter.

Crying that lasts more than an hour, irritability or restlessness

The child is able to be consoled, calmed and easily distracted. It is okay if your child wants to be held and or is less active much like when he or she has a minor cold

Something about child just doesn’t seem right

Your child is interested in playing, talking and acting just as he or she did before the fall

Watch out for the warning signs:

If you notice any of the following signs in your toddler, irrespective of the impact or appearance of injury, bring the child to the doctor at once.

  • Vomiting.
  • Unconsciousness for more than a few seconds
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Bleeding or clear fluid from the nose, ear, or mouth
  • Blurred vision.
  • Prolonged headaches.
  • Sluggishness.
  • Difficulty with coordination or balance
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Problems focusing or concentrating.
  • Lethargy.
  • Memory loss, such as trouble remembering what happened right before and after the injury
  • If the child complains ringing in the ears.
  • If the child expresses sensitivity to light or noise.
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Garbled speech or saying things that don't make sense

In case of more than five of the above signs are exhibited by the child call for help. Until you get medical help,

  • Do your best to keep your child calm and still.
  • If there's severe bleeding, apply a clean or sterile bandage (not too tight) without attempting to clean the wound or without removing any object that's stuck in the wound.
  • Never apply direct pressure to the wound if there is a possibility of skull fracture.
  • Never try to move your child until medical help arrives, in case there is a neck or spine injury.
  • Turn a child onto his or her side if the child is vomiting or having a seizure. Try to keep the head and neck straight while turning the child. This will help prevent choking and provide protection in case of neck and spine injury
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