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18 month old having swelling on the head after a fall. What to do?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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My son is 18 months old and was pushed by another child on a hardwood floor. His head hit fairly hard and he has a knot about the size of a dime that is going outward on his head. What, if anything should we do?
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Radhika 20 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

You have provided me with good information.

Your child had a fall followed by which he has a swelling on his head.

Most falls involve injury to the scalp only, which bleeds profusely if cut or forms a large swelling from broken blood vessels beneath the skin. These bumps and bleeds are usually limited to a scalp injury and seldom indicate that the underlying brain has been injured.

Apply the ice for 20 minutes and then take a 5-minute break, then 20 minutes again. If there is a cut over the bump, wait for the bleeding to stop, then examine it closely, if it is there it might need to be stitched or cleaned with a disinfectant.

If your child blacks out, even for a few seconds, this can mean that the force of the bump was strong enough to cause a hematoma.
Many children will vomit once or twice after a big bump on the head, either from crying, coughing and gagging, or just from the shock to the skull. This is expected. However, if your child vomits three or more times, he should be looked at in the ER.

Many children may complain of dizziness. This is expected. But if your child actually loses is balance and repeatedly falls over while walking, he needs to be examined. Observe his eyes and check if there is any Crossed eyes,One pupil larger than the other,Behavior such as tripping or running into things that indicates baby's vision is diminished.

Also if you notice that your baby has shallow breathing , twitches while sleeping or the color of his body becomes pale then you will need to go to an ER.

Meanwhile start with the ice compression and give OTC mild pain killers like Paracetamol syrup 4 ml twice daily.

I hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answer if you have no further queries.


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