Being a parent is a big responsibility. When you become a parent, you become responsible for the life of another human being for the next eighteen years of their lives. Being a parent takes a lot of hard work and a lot of patience, not to mention the constant need to be able to protect the life that you have brought into this world. Worrying about your child is something inevitable no matter how much older they get, sometimes even after they have their own families and become parents themselves, however, taking care of your children while they are young is much more stressful, especially for first-time parents.
Young children, especially toddlers who are just starting to learn how to walk, are prone to accidents like falling on their heads. Aside from the fact they have not mastered the mechanics of walking, young children tend to fall because their heads are larger in relation to their bodies and their neck muscles are not yet fully developed. Toddlers also have shorter legs in proportion to the rest of their bodies thus making their center of gravity closer to their heads.
Head injuries can be classified into two categories, external and internal. External head injuries usually involve the scalp and may look very frightening especially to new parents. The scalp has a lot of blood vessels, and even minor cuts can cause a lot of bleeding; sometimes these blood vessels bleed under the scalp producing what we call “goose egg” bumps. Internal head injuries involve damage inside of the skull or even the brain and are more severe. Try to assess your child right away after they bump their heads and let them tell you if they are experiencing any pain. If your child cannot verbally communicate yet, observe them, and if there are changes in their usual behavior, you must immediately go to the doctor.
If your child presents with the following symptoms after hitting their head, seek medical attention immediately:
2. They complain of head or neck pain.
3. Cannot talk or walk normally.
5. Abnormal breathing.
6. The head wound won’t stop bleeding (for external injuries).
7. Bleeding or clear fluid coming out of their mouth, ear, or nose.
8. Weakness or paralysis.
After having your child checked and you discovered that they had suffered a head injury, even a minor one, you should be more cautious about their activities and make sure that they do not hit their head again to avoid second-impact syndrome. Second-impact syndrome occurs when a person’s brain swells to a catastrophic degree because of a second trauma to the head before the symptoms of the first one have subsided. The condition is often fatal and could lead to severe permanent disability or even death.
Whiplash, the fast and sudden movement of the neck, can also be a cause of head injury in children. Because children’s neck muscles are not yet fully developed, they are more prone to experience severe injuries because their neck cannot adequately support their head yet. Whiplash can be suffered through a lot of means like playing sports and car accidents. If your child presents symptoms of whiplash after a car accident, do not move them and call for an ambulance immediately.
If you were in a car accident and children are involved, Hogan Injury can give you expert legal advice.
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