Head injury in children is a trauma causing injuries to the brain, skull, and scalp. It can be a minor skull bump or even a serious injury to the brain. The external injuries involve the scalp wherein a minor cut can lead to profuse bleeding because the scalp has lots of blood vessels. The swelling that appears on the scalp following a head blow is due to the veins of the scalp that leak fluid or blood into the scalp. The internal injuries involve the brain, the skull, and the blood vessels which are within the skull. Internal head injuries pose serious implications due to the bruising or bleeding of the brain.
External Injuries – it is important to seek medical consult if the kid is an infant and become unconscious even for just a moment. Also, go to the doctor if the infant shows the following symptoms:
• neck and head pain complaints
• repeated vomiting
• hard to awaken
• becomes hard to console
• way of walking is not normal
The kid who is not an infant and is conscious, alert, and has normal behavior following a fall or blow needs the following interventions be done:
• application of ice pack for twenty minutes to the injured site for every three to four hours; when using ice, it needs to be wrapped with a sock or washcloth all the time because direct ice application to the skin causes cold injury
• observation of the kid for the next twenty-four hours; call the doctor right away if signs of internal injury are observed
• checking on the kid once or twice especially for any breathing or color disturbances when the incident of brain injury happens just before bedtime or naptime
– there is no need of keeping the kid awake following a head injury when there is just normal color and breathing
– when in doubt with the appearance of the kid, partially rise the kid to a sitting position; mildly attempt to resettle and awaken the kid fully when the kid does not respond; call the doctor or ambulance if the kid cannot be awakened or is showing signs of internal injury
Internal Injuries – the cerebrospinal fluid is the one that cushions the brain. When there is a severe head blow, the brain may be knocked into the side of the skull or there may be tearing to the blood vessels. There are internal head injuries which are life threatening.
It is vital to call 911 if the kid exhibits the following symptoms following the head injury:
• loss of consciousness for over a few minutes
• breathing abnormalities
• having serious wound
• bleeding or clear fluid draining from the mouth, ear, and nose
• speech or visual disturbances
• unequal pupil size
• paralysis or weakness
• pain or stiffness of the neck
It is important that the child be kept safe to avoid incidence of head injuries. The home must be childproofed to avoid occurrence of household accidents. The kid must wear right headgear and safety equipment when playing outdoor-sports or contact sports.