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My child has banged his head

my child has banged his head
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Sooner or later even the most inactive child is going to suffer a bump to the head, and as a typical parent you’re going to feel like panicking. My child has banged his head what do I do? Actually, that’s about the worst thing you can do: You won’t act decisively and you may infect your child with your fear – fear which, statistically-speaking, is entirely unfounded as the human skull is built to take most of the strain that the life of a typical baby or toddler will expose it to.

So, after you’ve managed not to panic, what next? Firstly you’ll need to not panic all over again, as the dreaded swelling appears: The human head knows how to protect itself and the appearance of a large bump is part of that process, but get an ice pack on it and it’ll go down.

No Ice packs!

Frozen vegetable packets work well, and after about 20 minutes you should see a result. Obviously your child may protest whilst you do this, so a treat should come in handy, though if they make too much of a fuss it’s no big deal as the ice has a mainly cosmetic effect rather than bringing any medical benefits.

What if he’s bleeding?

If there’s any bleeding this will need to be stopped: Skin covering the human head contains a lot of blood vessels so there could be a considerable volume, but it’ll always look worse than it really is. Bleeding can be stopped with gentle pressure from a cloth (which may have ice in it).

You may then want to administer some Acetaminophen, which will relieve any pain your child is in – and then make sure you keep him awake for an hour at least. Short naps are OK after that, but only for 20 minutes at a time.

my child has banged his head

When to go to A&E

If your child has shown sign of unconsciousness at any point then there’s the possibility of concussion or a haematoma forming, in which case take them to A&E or call your doctor out. If you didn’t see the accident and think that your child may have been unconscious at any point, follow the same procedure: It’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you’re happy that your child doesn’t require professional medical attention, you’ll still need to keep an eye on him: Some vomiting is normal after a bump on the head, but three or more times and a hospital visit is required. An altered mental state, loss of balance, excessive crying, severe headaches or vision problems will also necessitate a trip to the hospital.

Whilst you’re observing your child post-accident, you’ll also need to decide if stitches are needed: If the cut can be made to gape open, with visible dark red muscle or yellowish fat on show, then it probably will. Smaller cuts can be treated with steri- strips, though if they’re on the face it’s generally best to go for stitching to avoid excessive scarring.

Cuts should generally be stitched within 8 hours, so a cut that occurs in the night can be left until morning unless the bleeding won’t stop – though it’s important not to let the cut dry whilst it’s open, so once the bleeding has stopped you’ll need to apply saline solution and apply it via a wet gauze placed over the cut. Repeat this process every few hours.

Keep an eye on him

Further monitoring for at least 24 hours is also required: Watch out for changes in sleep behaviour, changes in colour, altered breathing rhythms, twitches or anything else out of the ordinary.

At the end of the day, don’t forget how important parental instinct can be: The greatest safety device your child will ever have is you.

 

 

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