Head injuries are very common in children of all ages whether it is a toddler learning to walk, a child learning to ride their bike or an older child who has fallen out of a tree of been involved in a road accident.
On the whole children will recover after a day or so, but sometimes the effects can be life changing.
It is not possible to prevent head injuries, but a couple of things you could do to lessen the impact would be:
Reduce climbing hazards in your house for small children.
Insist on cycle helmets when using scooters, bikes or even roller skates. A cycle helmet will provide your child’s head with protection if they do fall which in turn protects their brain.
Have a chat with your teens about road safety – not using their phone when walking on the street or crossing the road, this has been something I have seen when working in Hospital, teens crossing in the wrong place while talking on their phone with fairly devastating results.
Concussion is the most common outcome of a head injury, which could be described as bruising to the brain. The first 24 hours are important with concussion. In some cases it may take longer to improve.
How do I treat a head injury?
If your child has a lump or bump to their head you could apply a cold compress.
If they are bleeding apply pressure and check to see if it needs glueing or steri strips in A&E.
Clean any grazes with tap water or saline and clean gauze.
Try to keep them calm.
Monitor them for the next day or so.
Give a paracetamol if they have a mild headache.
Seek help if you are concerned.
When to seek help
If they have fallen from a significant height (also consider a neck injury).
A serious headache.
Any loss of consciousness.
Blood coming out of their nose or ears.
A significant swelling.
If they are more drowsy or confused.
If they can’t remember what has happened.
If their condition deteriorates.
Head injuries are a common part of childhood, and often fairly minor but it is always good to remember that they can be significant enough to need a check out in A&E.
If you would like to know more or book a first aid course please check out our online courses.
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