Head Injuries In Babies – Everything You Need To Know

Head Injuries In Babies

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Do you, as a parent think of the worst, when you see your baby with a head injury? Does the sight of blood rushing through your baby’s head freaks you out? You are a firm believer, that most of the head injuries are internal and could cause lifelong effects to your child?

Well, as a parent it’s natural to be worried. So just relax. But if you are keen on knowing the ins and outs of head injuries in babies, we’ll advise you to read our post.

What Are Head Injuries Or Head Trauma?

A head injury as defined by Wikipedia is a trauma to the skull, scalp or brain. It could be external (a minor bump) or internal (brain tissue bleeding).

There are two categories:

1. Closed: When the incident happens, but the force wasn’t too much, that it could break your skull.

2. Open: When the object penetrated into your brain, after breaking the skull [1][2]

What Types Of Injuries Are Categorized As Head Injuries?

The list below falls under the category of head trauma and head injuries:

1. Concussion: This injury happens when an object hits the brain, and you feel shaken or the brain is shaking. It’s the most common type of head injury.

2. Scalp Wounds: An open wound on the scalp, due to scratching or hit by a sharp object [3].

3. Skull Fractures: A skull fracture is the breaking up of the cranial bone due to a head on collision with an impactful object. A skull fracture is not easy to be seen by the naked eyes. The symptoms which could confirm a fracture are:

4. Bleeding can occur from nose and ears.

5. You might observe some facial bruising.

6. There could be puffiness around the impact area [4].

[ Read: Bruises In Babies ]

What Are The Causes Of Head Injuries In Babies?

Head injuries could be caused by any of the reasons mentioned below: [5]

1. Accidents: Accidents on roads are very simple reason of head injuries.

2. Falls: Your baby just started walking and is falling again and again. Or when babies start crawling, an accidental fall from the bed or the couch could also lead to head injuries.

3. Aggression: The Shaken Baby Syndrome is a very common reason for head injuries, which usually causes brain damage in infants.

4. Injuries While Playing: Like your little one, started walking. You stepped out of your house, with him for a stroll in a park and he might have got hit by a football or a cricket ball.

Most of the injuries are minor, as the skull protects the brain from the damage. However, if you ever faced such a situation, it might be because the impact of the accident was severe, resulting in major injuries. Hence, you would have had to go to a hospital for treatment.

What Are The Symptoms Of Head Injury In Babies?

If your baby had a collision, then look out for the following symptoms as mentioned below [6][7]:

  • The baby is unconscious for the time ranging from a few seconds to more.
  • The baby doesn’t stop crying even after 10 minutes.
  • If your baby can walk or talk properly after the incident and has stopped doing any of the activities.
  • He/she is vomiting several times after the collision.
  • If your baby is vocal enough, he keeps on complaining of head or neck pain.
  • If your baby doesn’t speak, seems cranky, irritating and fussy.
  • Waking him up is a challenging task.
  • Has breathing troubles.
  • You see a serious wound or cut.
  • Bleeding from the nose, ear or mouth.
  • There is a disturbance of speech.
  • You observe numbness in his body.
  • There is stiffness in his neck.
  • Seizures.

[ Read: Tips to Make Your Home Safe For Your Baby ]

What Can You Do Before Medical Help Arrives?

If you observe any of the above signs of head injury in baby, it’s best to consult your pediatrician, but there are some pointers which you could execute, before you reach the doctor or before medical help arrives [8]:

  • Apply ice pack to the affected area every 3-4 hours. Never apply ice directly as it could cause more troubles. Always wrap ice in a washcloth or a hand towel and then apply.
  • Be observant of your babies activities, if you notice any of the symptoms it’s better to consult a doctor.
  • If the fall happened during bedtime/nap time, and baby goes to sleep after the incident it’s still advisable to have him checked by a doctor.
  • If breathing and color are normal, let your baby sleep. There is no reason to keep him awake.
  • If you are still suspicious, wake him up and allow him to sit. If he gets fussy, but still tries to resettle don’t worry. But if he is not getting up and seems to be drowsy, it’s better to consult your doctor.
  • If you suspect neck/spine injury, don’t move him. It is better to call for help.
  • If your baby is vomiting, you can support him with your one hand, placing the baby sideways and positioning your other hand, to support his neck and spine to prevent choking.
  • You can apply a clean bandage, if the wound is bleeding.
  • Don’t try to clean the wound which is deep.
  • If you see any object stuck in the wound, don’t ever try to pull it.

Some Interesting Facts About Head Injuries:

If you believe that head injuries are more common to babies or kids, you are wrong. Even adults get head injuries very often:

  • Head injuries occur more in males than females.
  • Most of the head injuries are seen during spring or over the weekend, when people are outdoors.
  • A head injury is different from a brain injury. It is not necessary that every head injury could impact your brain.
  • In kids, the age group which is at the highest risk of brain injuries, is from the age four to 15 and 19 years [9].

How To Prevent Baby Head Injuries?

  • Use of safety gates.
  • Never leave your baby in the bath unattended.
  • Never put a soft toy in the baby’s crib.
  • Never use walkers.
  • Keep chemicals and toxic substances out of the reach of babies [10].
  • Do not drink and drive, for your baby’s safety.

Prevention is better than cure, so always keep an eye on your naughty little one, and remember the do’s and don’ts in case an emergency arises.

Do you have an experience of your baby head injury to share with us? Leave your comment below.

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