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Child with pain in the ear and head after a fall. How to know if it is a head injury?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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My son fell off the couch earlier today. He cried but was fine. He played and acted ok. He later complained of head ache and tummy ache. He was pointing to his ear which was also the side he hit. Motrin and ear drops worked for 7 hours. He just got up and complained again. Motrin and ear drops seem to have worked again. He is sleeping. I am now worried it is not his ear but his head. How do I know? He has had congestion for about two weeks so an ear ache made sense.
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Head Injuries
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 33 minutes later

Thanks for the query

Head injury after falling from the couch can rarely be a serious issue. The signs of any damage following head injury are vomiting, loss of consciousness, irritability, dizziness, etc. In the case of your child, he seems to be normal, but still you need to observe him for a day for the above features.

Headache following head injury could be due to the blunt trauma and swelling in that region. Regarding earache, it is very unlikely he could be having any ear injury following head injury. The pain in the ear could be most probably due to the otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear) secondary to the nasal congestion.

I would suggest you to continue giving him Motrin if there is any pain. Avoid ear drops and use a saline nasal spray for nasal decongestion. If the symptoms do not improve in couple of days, please consult a good ENT specialist.

I hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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