Head Injuries for Kids

Lifestyle / Monday, May 18th, 2015

A scary Moment

Yesterday my heart stopped as I watched Adrien fall with Gregory in his arms. Watching an accident happen, it almost happens in slow motion,yet I feel like I missed the whole thing. One second they were upright going forward, I blinked and they were going down, and hard.Adrien, thankfully, had awesome military instincts and did his best to protect Gregory. Adrien was going down and was holding Gregory in his arms. Adrien fell and landed on his knee, nearly belly flopped on the ground with Gregory under him, but threw his elbow out to use as leverage to push sideways. Thankfully Gregory wasn’t squished, but he did hit his head on the ground. It was a terrifying moment.

As an ex-cheerleader, I know never to let a body hit the floor. It doesn’t matter how high, or how hard they are falling,you throw your whole body under them if needed. Your fall and bruised bones are going to be a lot less painful than a cracked skull or broken neck. Seeing anyone fall, even years after having stopped cheering, makes me flinch. Seeing the only two things in the world I hold near and dear to my heart fall and not be able to do anything… all I could do was scream out in terror.


I didn’t know what to do, I ran towards them and was unsure who to grab first for a split second, my husband who is bleeding, or by baby. Head injuries trump a bloody knee, and I held Gregory close and whipped out my boob to nurse and comfort him. Now that I think about it, I think the nursing comforted me! I am so thankful and lucky to have relactated, because this helped me calm down greatly. Gregory was crying, I was crying, but he was latching and nursing, which mean the was still alive and able to control himself.
A very kind couple (shout out to Lyn!) was suddenly at our sides. They were driving by and saw the whole thing happen and stopped to help. Lyn, an amazing mother of a few boys herself, not only gave Gregory  a one over to calm/check him for immediate danger, but she calmed me. As a first time mom, I was freaking out. My baby hit his head!  They gave us a ride to our car down the road, and we drove to the emergency room to get Gregory checked out.
Gregory is okay. He probably has a headache, a bruise has started to form, but is already slightly fadeing. The emergency room staff were very nice and said we didn’t actually need to bring him in. But as first time parents, they said it was a good idea. Not only to have our son checked, but so we can get a better idea on why and when to bring Gregory into emergency in the future.

How to handle head injuries

All head injuries should be taken seriously, no matter how little of a bonk it might have seen. A head injury is a head injury, but children are resilient and can bounce back from a lot… apparently. When your child hits their head there are 3 immediate concerns.

1. Did they lose consciousness?
2. Are they bleeding?
3. Is anything con-caved, or bumps formed?

If they are awake, this is good. If they are not bleeding, this is also good. Bumps are better than a con-caved head, and both should be taken seriously, however bumps are okay to let slide from the emergency room. Unconsciousness, blood and a con-caved skull deserves a trip to the ER immediately.

Every parent knows their own child best, and for the next 24-72 hours it is important to keep a close eye on them to see if they are exhibiting any unusual behavior. Trust your gut feeling, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes signs of brain injury are very small and only noticed by someone who knows the child very well.

Reasons to go to the Emergency Room

1.Vomits more than twice. (Once or twice is common, and often expected after head trauma. Any more, or any blood in the vomit deserves the ER)
2. Has a headache that gets worse or does not get better with pain medicine
3. Is restless, irritable or confused
4. Can no longer do things they once could before the injury
5. Has no energy or wish to do anything
6. Is different from their usual self

If they are very young and can’t verbally tell you if something is wrong be aware of these two steps

7. Cannot be comforted or quieted
8. Will not nurse or eat

Checking your Child

Over the next 72 hours you should be keeping a close watch on your child, here are some things to keep an eye out for. The points highlighted in red deserve a phone call to 911 while leaving the house on the way to the emergency room, to let them know what is going on and to be prepared for when you arrive.

1. Your child knows their name
2. Knows who you are
3. Knows where they are
4. Wakes up easily/ as usual
5. Can hold onto your hand tight with both hands
6. Has no fluid or blood in ears or nose
7. Can breathe easily
8. Isn’t feeling a lot of pain
9. Loses balance or falls often (difficult with toddlers!!!! I feel the struggle)
10.Loses strength in an arm or leg – drops things or trips often
11. Can’t see clearly – blurred or double vision
12. Has any unusual movements or body jerks

After Injury Care

After a head injury your child may feel sick for a few days. Small snacks, meals and small drinks are advised to prevent any sickness. Keep your child where you can watch them play until they are feeling well again. Keep play quiet to reduce mental stress, and it is okay to give Tylenol or ibuprofen to manage pain. Do not give sedatives as these may cover up important signs of injury.
It is okay to let your child sleep if they are tired. Sleep is good for recovery, but it is important to check on them, and if you are worried. It is okay to wake them every 4 hours or so. Just for a peace of mind. Allow for plenty of rest during the day, and return to normal activities gradually. Limit noise like loud music, video games and a lot of television. Instead reach for things like books, games, and art.
Be gentle, and give a little extra love during this time. Head injuries are life threatening, but sometimes they aren’t as bad as they might seem at first. Again, if you are unsure, always go to a doctor. I hope you find this information useful. I am glad this is now tucked away in our Rad archive because I have a feeling I will forget some of this, and there will be many more injuries… unfortunately, in the future with a little boy.