Head trauma

The causes

  • Falls
  • Car accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Sports
  • Beating or physical abuse

Usually children recover from the most cases of head trauma without problems, but sometimes a hard head trauma can have serious problems and concussion (a rapid onset short lived impairment of neurologic function that usually resolves spontaneously and that may or may not involve loss of consciousness).

Call the doctor

Call the doctor in the cases your child has hit his or her head and the injury was more than a light bump, and in the following cases:

  • Fell from a height taller than 3 to 5 feet
  • Less than 6 mo
  • Has a seizure or passes out
  • Has an hard headache or gets worse over time
  • Has troubles walking, talking, seeing, seems confused, or is acting in ways that worry you, is vomiting for more than two times
  • Is dizzy after a while
  • Has blood or watery fluid coming out of the nose or ears
  • Has a cut that keeps bleeding after you put pressure on it for 10 minutes
  • Is weak or numb in any body part
  • Is very cranky or can’t sotp crying
  • Has trouble to wake up
  • Was hit really hard or with something moving very fast

What can I do to help my child?

  • let your child lie down, do something quit, or nap
  • give him or her to drink clear liquids if he or she has thrown up
  • press on the injury with a clean cloth if there is bleeding and hold the pressure for 10 minutes without stop it
  • put ice or a cold pack on any lumps or swollen areas and hold it there for 20 minutes
  • give pain reliever medicines
  • watch your child closely after a head injury and if he or she gets worse or starts acting strangely call the doctor right away or go straight to the hospital

Tests to do

The tests to do depend by the age, symptoms, and individual situation. Most children do not need imaging tests but if the doctor suspects a serious injury may order a CT scan that create a detailed picture of the brain and skull, revealing internal bleeding or fractures.

After a head trauma, depending how serious the injury is and what symptoms the child has, usually the doctor will just want to wait and watch the child.

Coming back to normal activities after a head trauma

It depends on how serious the trauma was. If your child had a concussion you need a doctor ok before to come back to sport play, the same if your child had 2 head injuries in a row.

The prevention

  • always wear a helmet when sitting in a bicycle. The helmet should fit well and should be changed if it has been in a crash
  • the child should be watched closely while biking and don’t let bike in the street unless he or she can control a bike. The child should also be able to follow the traffic rules
  • always sit in a car seat until he or she is 4 feet, 9 inches tall. Be sure the seat is secured and set up in the right way
  • take care of stairs and windows, gates and guards can protect young children
  • young children should never cross streets alone
  • wear safety gear (helmets, mouth guards, and eyewear) while skateboarding, skiing, or doing other sports