Steps to Take If Your Child Suffers a Brain Injury
Children often hurt themselves and sometimes hit their heads causing head trauma.
If your child suffers a brain injury through a fall, car crash, bicycle fall, sports-related trauma or other event, you should treat it very seriously.
Sometimes it's just a little bump or bruise on the head, but in some cases head injuries can be very dangerous or even fatal if left untreated. So how do you know what to do?
Here are the immediate steps you should take to deal with any brain injury:
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents contact their child's healthcare provider for advice for anything more than a light bump on the head. If there are any doubts, call to make sure.
In addition to calling, if your child exhibits any of the following symptoms they should be evaluated by a healthcare provider. The evaluation will determine if there is serious brain injury and what kind of treatment for the brain injury your child may need. Get your child evaluated if they experience:
- seizures (convulsion)
- loss of consciousness after the injury
- a severe headache or the headache worsens with time
- changes in behavior (e.g., lethargic, difficult to wake, extremely irritable, or other abnormal behavior)
- unusual stumbling, difficulty walking, clumsiness, or lack of coordination
- has a hard time talking or seeing
- confused or slurred speech
- blood or watery fluid oozes form the nose or ears
- cut will not stop bleeding after applying pressure for 10 minutes
- develops a stiff neck
- cannot stop crying or looks sicker
- has weakness or numbness involving any part of the body
When speaking with a health care professional, parents should try to describe how the injury occurred, if possible, including what the child was doing before the traumatic brain injury and how he/she responded after the injury. If there is any reason to suspect that another adult or child intentionally injured the child, this should be discussed with the healthcare provider.
One last piece of advice about something you do not need to do - there is no need to keep your child awake after a head injury. A child who is more rested and calm will behave more normally and will be easier to assess.
We hope these tips will help your family stay safe and prevent further injury. Most head injuries are not too serious, but if your child experienced a severe brain injury due to the negligence or criminal behavior of another individual, you are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other expenses that occur as a result of the injury.