AS your little one learns to walk and your children find their feet and start running around – injuries can be common.
Whether they’re on a football pitch or playing in the park, you can’t always protect them from harm.
If they have fallen over or hurt themselves, it can be distressing for all parties.
Head bumps are common in kids and now doctors have now revealed when they could be serious.
First aid experts Dr Kavya Kudithipudi and Dr Raja Chaganti, who run Two Aussie Doctors, along with paediatric nurse Sarah Hunstead at CPR Kids said it’s hard to tell what can be managed at home and what warrants a trip to the hospital.
While most of the time, a bump is nothing to worry about and your child is fine – they said there are nine red flags to look out for.
- H – for a worsening headache, seizure, unconscious
- E – worsening eye problems, blurred or double vision
- A – abnormal behaviour change
- D – dizziness, persistent vomiting
- B – balance dysfunction with weakness or numbness in the legs and arms
- U – unsteady on feet, slurred speech
- M – memory impaired, confused and disorientated
- P – poor concentration
- S – something’s not right, concerned about your child.
While these are the key red flags to look out for, the first aiders said there are also some yellow flags that you need to be on the lookout for.
They explained you should also seek medical advice: “If your child is alert and interactive after the head injury, but at the time wasn’t ‘quite right’ or did not respond appropriately.”
This means that they were perhaps confused as to where they were or what had happened.
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They added that you should also watch out if they have vomited, if they have bruising or cuts or if you are worried about your little one.
Another sign of concern, they said, is ‘boggy swelling’.
This refers to a lump or swelling that is spongey or squishy to the touch.
“If you see this, then seek urgent medical attention as this can mean there is internal bleeding,” they said.
If you’re struggling to work out whether or not the lump is concerning, they said you should think of an avocado.
They explained: “If the lump feels like an avocado that is not ready to eat (firm) this is less concerning.
“If the lump feels like an avocado that is over ripe (only good for guacamole) then this is concerning.
“You may need to look at more than the bump, a child can have a serious head injury with only a slightly visible bump – or none at all – look for the other red flags too”.
The gurus explained though that if your child has had a mild fall, then they are more likely to cry immediately after.
Most of the time, they say they will recover quickly if they are consoled and may have a mild – but controllable headache.
Little ones may also have a firm egg-like bump at the area of impact and a minor wound or bruising.
How to treat a head injury
When it comes to treating their head bump at home, the medics said there are many things that will help.
With a mild head injury, they said cuddles are on your side.
This will help calm little one and then you can properly asses their injury.
Keeping them calm is also key and if they have a bleeding wound, you should apply pressure for a minimum of 10 minutes.
They added that you should also give them pain relief if needed and apply a cold pack if you child will tolerate this.
Finally, they said you should monitor their signs and get help if you become concerned – remember if in doubt, get it checked out.