Children and Head Injury

Like many mothers, I’ve heard the blood curdling scream of a child when they hit their head. Then comes the growing goose egg. The question I always ask myself is, “Should I take them to the emergency room? How do I know if they have a concussion? What if there is internal bleeding?”

Goose EggI have 2 boys, six and eight. Here are examples of what I’ve seen:

  •  Birthday party at a local ice skating rink. My youngest fell while going up the stairs which resulted with him hitting his forehead on the metal steps. Result: instant goose egg in the middle of the forehead. It swelled up to about 1 inch wide and you can imagine the scream.
  • Diving into the sofa. My oldest decided it would be a good idea to jump onto the sofa head first. He did not pay attention to where he was diving and did not see the rocking chair arm. The only part of the arm that was not covered by the cushion. Instant goose egg towards the back of the head.
  • My youngest, while walking sideways (watching a football game on T.V.) turned his head and hit his temple on the metal attic ladder. Small goose egg on the temple.

Before I continue, I would like to say that I’m not a physician so it would be up to you to decide if you need to take your child to the emergency room or doctor.  FIRST, always apply ice. Then, if you see any of the symptoms or behaviors below, you may want to take them to the emergency room.

  • Loss of consciousness when they hit their head
  • Vomiting
  • Complaints of a headache that continues to get worse ( this could happen hours after – does not have to happen immediately)
  • If your child is inconsolable
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficult to arouse
  • Neck pain
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bleeding or clear fluid from the eyes or nose

Overall, trust your instincts. If you think something is not right – see a physician.

Of the three incidences above, the third one resulted in a trip to the emergency room. My son screamed but was consolable. He was fine until about 3 hours later. He developed a headache and vomited. The emergency physician suggested we continue to monitor him. We did and he is fine. He is actually back to running around, tumbling and wrestling with his brother. Now to keep my fingers crossed and hope he does not get another goose egg.



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