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Part 4: Keeping Your Child Healthy  >  The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses  >  Head Injury

HEAD INJURY

Although it is natural to become tense when a child hurts his head, most head injuries (at times even serious-looking ones) pass off without any complication.

It is important to watch the child closely after a head injury. If he looks alright to you after the injury, there is no need to panic.

If he is normal even after 48 hours of the accident, the risk to your child is almost nil. The accident was probably meant to help him learn some lesson for the future. However, make a note of the date and time of the head injury in the child’s personal file or diary for any future reference.


You Need To Take Action In The Following Conditions:

  • Persistent vomiting
  • Persistent lack of alertness, drowsiness or unconsciousness
  • Inability to move any part of the body
  • An unsteady gait
  • Persistent backache
  • Convulsions
  • Eye changes resulting in squint, double vision, etc.
  • Difficult breathing
  • Bleeding from the nose or ear


Concussion Versus Compression
In a condition called concussion, the whole brain is shaken after the head is hit hard. The child becomes unconscious for a brief period and becomes normal within a few minutes. He may also complain of slight headache, nausea and giddiness and have one or two bouts of vomiting. Such cases should not cause anxiety.

Compression of the brain, on the other hand, can be serious. The real problem arises if there is swelling of the brain and the injury leads to compression of the brain due to bleeding between the skull and the brain. This may cause the worrying symptoms mentioned above. If you’re anxious about the way your child looks, consult your doctor immediately or take the child to the casualty department of a nearby hospital.


First Aid
While you are waiting for your doctor, attend to any external injury. If you notice any bump on the head, it is due to external bleeding between the scalp and the skull. Apply gentle pressure with ice in a hand towel or any piece of cloth for 15 to 20 minutes. If there is a cut on the scalp, attend to it as advised under the section on Cuts. If you suspect that the child might have also injured his neck, do not move him; wait for your doctor or the ambulance to arrive and let the experts carry the child safely to the hospital. Careless handling of a child with injury to the neck can result in serious damage to the spinal cord.


Hospitalisation And Tests
Let your doctor decide if X-rays of the skull or a brain scan are needed. If the soft spot (anterior fontanelle) in a small infant is open, doctors may decide to go for a simpler procedure called sonography of the head. 

Most cases of head injury need neither hospitalisation nor any X-rays. Observation of the child, in most cases for a day or two at home or in the hospital, and examination by your doctor are all that is required. But if one or more of the serious symptoms given above are present, do not delay matters and let the doctor decide the right course of action for your child.


Vigorous Shaking Of The Child Can Be Dangerous
Mention may be made here of the possibility of a rare injury to the brain and eyes following vigorous shaking of the child. This can happen if an angry parent takes recourse to this method to stop a small child crying continuously. Always allow your spouse, family or friends to share the care of a colicky child with you so that you are not stressed too much.




7 March, 2016

 
Part 4
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses

Abdominal Pain
Abrasions or Scratches
Acute Glomerulonephritis
Acute Nephritis
Acute Watery Diarrhoea
Addictions
Adenoids
AIDS
Allergies
Anaemia
Anorexia (Poor Appetite)
Asthma
ADHD
Autism
Backache
Bed-Wetting (Enuresis)
Birth Deformities
Bites and Stings
Bleeding
Bone, Joint and Muscle Injuries
Bowlegs and Knock-Knees
Breathlessness
Bronchiolitis
Burns
Calcium Deficiency
Cancer
Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation
Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Chickenpox
Choking
Circumcision
Cleft Lip and Palate
Common Cold
Congenital Heart Disease
Constipation
Convulsions or Fits or Seizures
Cough
Croup
Crying
Cuts
Dengue Fever
Diabetes Mellitus
Diarrhoea, Dysentery ...
Diphtheria
Down's Syndrome
Earache, Ear Infections ...
Electric Shock
Encephalitis
Eye Problems
Fears
Foot Problems
German Measles (Rubella)
Glands in the Neck ...
Headache
Head Injury
Hepatitis
Hydrocephalus
Hypertension
Hypospadias
Influenza (Flu)
Jaundice
Joint Disorders
Kala-Azar
Leptospirosis
Limp and Pain in the Legs
Malaria
Malnutrition (Undernutrition)
Measles
Meningitis
Meningomyelocele
Menstrual Problems
Mental Retardation (MR)
Mouth To Mouth Breathing
Mumps
Nephrotic Syndrome
Nose-Related Problems
Obesity
Pneumonia
Poisoning
Poliomyelitis
Premature Baby
Prolapse of the Rectum
Rabies
Rheumatic Fever
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rickets
Short Child
Skin Conditions
Sleep and Sleep Problems
Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
Splinters
Stammering
Stridor (Noisy Breathing)
Teething and Care of Teeth
Tetanus (Lock Jaw)
Thrush
Thumb-Sucking
Tics
Torticollis
Tracheoesophageal Fistula
Tropical Eosinophilia
Tuberculosis (TB)
Typhoid
Umbilical Problems
Undescended Testis
Urinary Infection
Vaginal Discharge
Vomiting
Wheezing
Whooping Cough (Pertusis)



Part 4
Keeping Your Child Healthy
Choosing A Paediatrician
Proper Use of Medicines
Home Remedies
A First Aid Kit
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses
Psychological Concerns
Managing A Hospital Stay
Emergencies
Prayer And Your Child's Health
The Role of Nature Cure
Homoeopathy
Ayurveda and Child Care
Congenital Heart Disease FAQ
 
Guide to Child Care
Home
Introduction
1 Pregnancy, Childbirth ...
2 The Growing Years
3 Feeding Infants, ...
4 Keeping Your Child Healthy
5 Keeping Your Child Happy
About Dr. R. K. Anand
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