Head injuries in children: what you should know

As children begin to walk, explore their environment and play, the possibility of them getting injured is always there. Children’s head injuries can be minor or serious and can result from a number of causes such as a fall or being hit by an object as they play. Here are a number of things every parent should know about head injuries and concussion in children and they should be taken to the ER.

  • With concussions, complete recovery is typically expected without long-term damage.
  • Children as young as 4 years of age and below as well as teenagers aged between 15 and 19 years are the age groups most likely to suffer brain injuries that are traumatic. This is so because those below 4 years have poor control of the neck muscles and the head the risk of head injuries for teenagers in middle and high school is quite high because most actively participate in sports and activities such as riding bicycles which put them at risk.
  • All cases of concussion should never be taken lightly.
  • The signs of concussion may vary from person to person. However, be on the lookout for nausea, confusion, dizziness, headaches and foggy feelings. Children that are aged below 2 years may be more irritable, hard to comfort and may sleep more than they usually do.
  • It is important that a child who has sustained a head injury be examined by a doctor. Knowing when to contact your primary care physician or rush to the ER is important. When the injury occurs, immediately call your primary care doctor, but if your child is young take more aggressive measures and seek emergency medical care especially if the symptoms are severe or worsen. If the child has lost consciousness or has seizures, urgent medical attention is of utmost importance.
  • Parents can be less worried after 4 to 6 hours. This is because there is usually less danger and concern over more serious injuries such as brain swelling, bleeding and fractures occurring after this time period. However, if symptoms worsen, do not ignore them.
  • Once a concussed child has been examined by a doctor and treated as necessary, they can be left to sleep since rest is important for healing.
  • Allowing a concussed child to keep playing can result in more serious complications and can result in death. If a head injury has been sustained, remove the child from play until a doctor examines them. Try to keep them resting until the symptoms subside.
  • For coaches of sports, it is important to have guidelines and short and long-term plans for handling head injuries.
  • At times, a child may insist that they are okay. It is necessary to observe the child despite what they say and if you aren’t convinced about their state, keep them from playing until they are examined.
  • Support the injured child during the period when they can’t rejoin their team and actively participate in sport. Support should be provided by parents, coaches and teachers as well as teammates.
  • If you are living in and around Quincy and looking child care school please visit our child care center at 632 Washington Street Quincy, MA 02169

 

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