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Is a 'pop' sound when my baby fell on his head indicative of neck injury?

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My baby fell a short distance from the couch but I saw him land on the top of his head and his neck bent. I heard a "pop" sound and was very worried. My husband and friend don't seem to be worried. My son is acting and moving fine.....should I be alarmed? I work in the medical field so I am probably being just a bit paranoid. I know I "should" bring him in but are there any specific signs I should look for indicative of a serious neck injury?
Posted Fri, 27 Apr 2012 in Child Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 14 minutes later
Hello,

Thanks for posting your query. Head and neck injuries can be external or XXXXXXX If your baby is behaving fine, not in pain, not crying and had not lost consciousness after the fall, then there is nothing serious to be worried about.

Infants will exhibit screaming and crying if they feel pain in the neck area. They may rub at their necks, especially the back of the neck. They may complain of neck pain or cry when you touch their neck. Then other symptoms observed are shallow breathing, trouble taking a breath or trouble taking XXXXXXX breath, difficulty for the child to move his neck, nausea and vomiting, pupils may become dilated or one pupil may appear larger than the other in a serious neck injury.

Children may also become highly irritable or inconsolable. Then there may be unconsciousness and seizures, bleeding or clear fluid from the nose, ear, or mouth, feeling anxious or irritable for no apparent reason and sensitivity to light as well.

In such a case, it is always better to get a physical examination and a CT/ MRI head done to rule out any subdural hemorrhage. Symptoms of subdural hemorrhage have a slower onset than those of epidural hemorrhages because the lower pressure veins bleed more slowly than arteries. Thus, signs and symptoms may show up within 24 hours but can be delayed as much as 2 weeks.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.











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Follow-up: Is a 'pop' sound when my baby fell on his head indicative of neck injury? 20 minutes later
Thank you for your quick response Dr. XXXXXXX

A baby at 11 months has mostly cartilage correct? So they are very flexible. I will be keeping an eye on him. Thank you for the helpful information. What do you think the "popping" sound was?

 
 
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 9 hours later
Hello,

Thanks for writing back.

Yes, you are absolutely correct. The bones in children consist of hard connective tissue and cartilage. Over time, the cartilage hardens and turns to bone and some bones fuse together.

The popping sound could be due to the rubbing of the vertebra with each other or due to rapid stretching of ligaments. Unless it is accompanied by the above mentioned symptoms there is nothing to worry about.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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