Infant Head Injury
Any kind of
head injury can be scary, but when the injured is a young child
or baby, it becomes even harder to assess the damage, as they
will probably be unable to tell you how they are feeling
different from before the accident.
skull protects the very fragile brain inside, but because the
skull itself does not have much skin padding over it, and this
skin contains many blood vessels, it is easy for an accident to
damage the skin producing what looks like way too much blood.
Don't panic if this is the case, the head does bleed easily,
and generally looks worse than it is. In fact whenever you have
to deal with a "situation", try not to panic. Try to remain
calm and collected, and when speaking to emergency personnel on
the phone, remember that you need to give them accurate details
of the injuries.
not present, and you are their eyes to begin with. The body is
actually amazing, in that it can help you by staying calm,
doing the right things for quite a while. I remember the case
of a 911 operator who by sheer luck received the call that her
son was injured. She was able to remain calm, give all the
correct advice to those helping, despite the emotional turmoil
she had to have been going through. If your infant or baby is
injured, there are bound to be a lot of different feelings
dashing around your head, feelings of guilt, perhaps for
letting this happen, even though there was probably nothing you
could do to avoid the injury. Accidents happen all the time,
and dwelling on blame will not help your infant recover any
quicker. Your baby needs your calm attention to deal with the
medical problems, and when they see you are calm, they will
likely be calmer too.
don't worry too much about a large bump appearing after a blow
to your infant's head. Using ice on the area and perhaps a
little pressure will soon have that bump reducing in size. What
you need to be concerned about is if there is any damage to the
brain itself, and this is harder to tell. There may be a
concussion, caused by a shaking of the brain inside the skull,
as a result of the bump, and the infant may even fall
unconscious. If your infant or child is unconscious, even for a
few seconds, it indicates a bump strong enough to cause blood
to seep out of the brain below the skull. This requires medical
assistance to assess the damage done to the
hear or see your child crying immediately after a blow to the
head, this is good news, because it means they have not lost
consciousness! Observe your infant for any changes in behaviour
from before the accident. Remember that symptoms may take a few
days before showing up, so observe carefully.
infant begins vomiting, make a note of how frequently. Vomiting
is a symptom of head injuries, and children often do this after
a trauma, either as a result of crying, coughing or shock, but
excessive vomiting, more than 3 or 4 times, make indicate a
more serious problem, and a trip to get medical help is needed.
Because of the risk of vomiting, monitor the child to make sure
they are not likely to choke.
balance is another symptom to watch for, but in an infant this
can be difficult to tell. Instead, look for changes in sitting
positions, changes in crawling habits, and if you are at all
concerned, seek medical help. A parent's intuition is a
wonderful thing, and if you are at all concerned about your
infant, it is good to seek medical attention. Parents know
their child best!
your infant's eyes. Are they unfocussed, or crossing? Is one
pupil larger than the other? If so, call for help, this is not
normal. In an older child they may talk about double vision, or
headaches, both of which need to be assessed by a medical
parent, it is easy to panic when your infant receives a head
injury, but do not panic, infants are constantly bumping their
heads on the ground as they learn to move around. Just watch
out for the telling signs of a more severe head injury, and
trust your instinct.
doubt, call for help or advice from a professional. It is
always better to get your infant checked than not, if you have
doubts. And in the meantime, take as many precautions as
possible to avoid an infant head injury.