I was watching Lil man while he was holding onto the sofa while standing and moving along the edge. Seeing he was fine, playing with his toys and holding onto the sofa, I looked back at my computer screen and continued working. Then, I heard a big bang and then… “wehhhhhh”. I immediately turned around and saw him on the floor. He’d slipped and somehow managed to fall sideways hitting his head on the hardwood floor.
Of course, I went to him, lifted him up and looked at him. He looked me in the eyes, gave me that downward frowning lip and screamed again. I knew he was hurting as he continued to cry for the next minute… much longer than usual. So, I picked him, gave him a big hug and held him close telling him it’s ok, it’s ok.
Thinking about this incident and realizing that as much as we, as parents, want to child proof everything, there are things that just aren’t child-proofable. It’s never 100% even when you think you’ve got it all covered.
That brings me to my next thought. How can you tell when it’s a serious head injury? When do you pick up the phone to call the pediatrician? I mean calling 9-1-1 is pretty clear cut I think. If the baby’s head is cracked open, is unconscious, breathing irregularly – dial 9-1-1. But what about those times when the baby stops crying and otherwise seems to be ok and continues to play? So, I did a little researching and here’s what I found…
Here are some things to look for to see if your little one has a concussion or serious head injury:
- dizziness or lightheaded
- fluids coming from ears, mouth or nose (whether it’s clear or blood)
- abnormal breathing
- change in speech
- obvious serious wound
- blurred vision
- difficulty concentrating
- loss of coordination
The list can go on a little longer, but these are the major things I’ve found from a variety of websites including Kids Health, Modern Mom and BabyCenter.
Clearly though, I would say if you’re not comfortable with the state of your child – then call the doctor. You can’t go wrong just to check, be safe and see what the doctor says. They might give you some pointers on what else to look for or the might tell you to bring the little one in for a quick check up. Especially if your child hasn’t developed the ability to talk yet and therefore is unable to tell you how they feel after that nasty fall.
Kids Health provides a very thorough write up on head injuries, what to look for and how to handle the situation. I definitely recommend reading it even if you think you know, it’s a good refresher and can help keep your little one safe, smiling and happy.