Dealing with head injuries in children..
A couple of weeks ago I had taken Pyper to play group of which it has lots of new and interesting toys and with that comes safety, Pyper was on top of an indoor slide which is about ½ metre off the ground went to pull her feet around and went forward to make a huge thud on the ground and then 1, 2, 3 – S c r e a mmmmm!!!. As the only father at the playgroups I had the “wait till you get home you will be in trouble with your wife” jokes but in the end I was more worried about Pyper then what Renee would say well on the outside anyway!
I rushed and picked her up, we looked for some ice and tried to calm her down of which chocolate seems to work wonders, what bump on my head “daddy you idiot, I’m fine” and then the yellow bruising came out, I was told by one of the mothers (who had obviously been through the same routine a few times – having 2 boys) that you should shine a torch into their eyes and if the pupil contracts then they don’t have concussion, hmmm I’m still thinking about that one, the torch we have at home is a farming one, this would stop a deer in its track. It took a week to go down and I guess it’s all part and parcel of having a child.
Renee took Pyper away for the weekend, and I got a call Sunday night to say that whilst out with her grandfather and he was holding on to her, he tripped over and she smashed the back of her head, I was thinking hmm maybe I should get a helmet for her, to protect her head. Renee made sure to keep her up for at least a couple of hours and not put her to bed and to basically keep an eye on her to make sure she wasn’t off her food, but I felt very helpless.
Today we took her to the doctor just to get her checked over and they gave us a great little handout of which we will keep by the fridge courtesy of ACC –
What to look for and warning signs and knowing when to call the doctor/emergency services:
- They are hard to wake up (at night) or will not stay awake (during the day)
- Will not drink or feed (if a baby or infant)
- Goes suddenly “out cold” unconscious) or “passes out”
- Repeatedly vomits
- Seems to be confused or behaves strangely
- Is very grumpy or irritable
- Has fits or seizures
- Slurs their speech
- Doesn’t seem to recognise you
- Has cross eyed or eyes doing funny things
- Becomes weaker or more unsteady
- Complains of a worsening headache
- Cries more than usual or has a high pitched cry and will not settle down
- Doesn’t seem well
There are also some common signs in children that you don’t need to worry about but should still monitor, for a few days after the head injury it is normal for a child to:
- Feel a little unsteady or giddy
- Not feel like playing with one thing for long or doing homework
- Be a little bit grumpy
- Seem to need more sleep than usual
- Complain of a bit of a headache
- Dislikes loud noises