The child has taken a slight blow to the head, what to do?

When they learn to walk, in games with friends, running, jumping, cycling, with skates, even sleeping in bed or on the couch ... I can think of many situations for which a child can fall and hit his head and although the trauma is mild, we are always worried and wonder what to do. Luckily, most head injuries are slight.

We are talking about a child suffering a head injury, with the appearance of a bump, but does not lose consciousness, because in other more serious cases (heavy trauma with bleeding, cutting, loss of consciousness, disorientation, vomiting ...) there are Than go to the hospital.

The first thing to look for is that the child is alert and responds, cries for the pain caused and, of course, for the fright of the fall or blow. The cry after the blow lasts several minutes, but does not lengthen in time. If he continues to cry after 10 minutes, there is something that still causes him discomfort or pain.

What we can do in these first moments is to try to calm the child's pain and observe it. We talk about bloodless wounds, so we can put a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth to help reduce pain and swelling, for a few minutes (ice at intervals to avoid pain from the cold).

In case of superficial cuts, the wound should be washed with running water, check that there are no embedded objects and press the wound with gauze to stop the bleeding.

If the child is alert and responds, it means that the head injury is mild and usually it is not necessary to take it to the hospital, nor do exams or x-rays. Soothe the cry by picking it up, talking to him, singing to him ... it will be easier. If we observe the child in the following hours and have no symptoms, we can be calm.

However, if we notice any change in the child, or the hematoma does not reduce, or the blood does not stop, we must call the pediatrician and take him to the nearest consultation because it could be a more serious problem. In the case of deep cuts you have to go to the emergency department to make stitches.

More severe blows to the head

There are several signs that put us on notice that the child may have suffered a more worrying head injury:

  • Constant headache that is getting worse.

  • He does not speak clearly or is confused (for example, does not recognize family people ...).

  • You have dizziness that does not go away or that appears repeatedly.

  • He doesn't stop crying after half an hour.

  • Extreme irritability, abnormal behavior ...

  • Vomit more than twice.

  • You stumble or have trouble walking.

  • You get blood or watery fluid from your nose or ears.

  • You have sudden drowsiness, we cannot keep you awake or show difficulty waking up.

  • It has uneven pupil size.

  • It shows an abnormal paleness that lasts more than an hour.

  • Suffer seizures

Needless to say, if the child loses consciousness, one must act urgently. Even if it has been for a few minutes, the child should be taken to the doctor for the necessary exams to determine the severity of the injury (for example, a CT scan would show if there is a brain injury). Surely there will be no serious trauma and it will be recommended to observe the child for about 24 hours (or more if there is suspicion: the signs of a more complicated injury could take time to manifest) in case there are changes in his condition, when he needs to receive more medical care .

Obviously, at that time the child can sleep but the pediatrician can recommend that we be attentive to his sleep and monitor him every few hours to observe that he normally sleeps, wakes up and responds ...

In short, although the blows in the head of the children usually are frequent, the majority are slight. If after providing first aid we have doubts or any of the above symptoms occur, do not hesitate to go to the hospital to assess the severity of the stroke and the condition of the child.

Photos | iStock
In Babies and more | What to do if the child is hit hard on the head, First aid for parents: should we be more prepared?

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