In last week’s article we discussed external head injuries and briefly mentioned internal ones. We also talked about what you should do if your child suffers from an external head injury. In this week’s article, we will take a look at head injuries that are much more serious: internal injuries.
Internal head injuries include damage to the skull itself, the vessels inside the skull and the brain. Unlike external head injuries that usually cause nothing more than momentary pain and a temporary bump, internal injuries can do massive damage and even result in instant death- especially if the injury involves bruising or bleeding in the brain.
While there are different levels of concern for the different types of internal head injuries, it’s usually not possible to determine the extent of internal injury and it is therefore highly advisable that you see a doctor immediately if you suspect your kid has sustained an internal head injury.
As mentioned above, you should call a doctor right away if your child shows any of the following symptoms after hurting his head:
• Unconsciousness that lasts for more than a few minutes
• Irregular breathing
• Large/serious easily visible wound
• Blood/running fluid from the ear, nose or mouth
• Loss/obstruction of vision and/or hearing
• Difference in pupil size
• Weakness, paralysis, neck pain or stiffness
WHAT TO DO IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOUR CHILD IS INJURED
Do NOT try to move your child if he has lost consciousness and call for help immediately. In case of vomiting or seizure, you can turn him on his side to prevent choking but take care to keep the head and spine straight.
If your child has not lost consciousness, you can try to console him and stop bleeding with a clean/sterile bandage. However, do not attempt to cleanse or pressurize the wound. Do not remove any object stuck in the wound as that can further aggravate the injury.
Remember, too often head injuries can be more serious than they look. So it’s always best to see a doctor if your child has badly hit his head and/or there are visible signs of injury.
If however your child didn’t hit his head too bad, there are no obvious wounds or injury signs and your child continues to behave normally, you can try the measures discussed for treating external head injuries in last week’s article.
Next week, join us as we explore a certain type of internal head injury- concussions- and discuss ways through which you can prevent and reduce head injuries in children.