Head Injuries in Children


A head injury can be deceptively dangerous. What may seem to be an innocent head ache may be something more. Conversely, something which you think looks fatal maybe nothing at all. Between 2000 and 2001, 33% of all admissions to hospitals concerning a head injury were under the age of 15. A common time when head injuries occur is while participating in sport or some other form of recreational activity such as riding a bike.

There are obvious precautions that can be employed of course - wear a helmet, wear padding or guards as practical (a helmet and shoulder pads aren't practical when playing basketball) but more importantly you should be aware what to do should a child receive a head injury and you are nearby.

The first thing to be aware of is not to move the injured person as a neck or a spinal injury can be made a lot worse if the person is moved. If the person has lost consciousness an ambulance should be called immediately - even if they regain consciousness, they should be taken to a hospital to be checked by a professional.

Should the worst happen and the child stops breathing it would be constructive to know what to do, there is a technique which can be easily remembered called the "A B C method";

1. A is for the airway - their airway should be kept clear by placing one hand on their brow and then lightly tilt their head backwards by using two fingers to raise the chin. This will allow air to enter through the nose and mouth and into the lungs.
2. B is for breathing - There are a few ways to check the breathing. First of all see if the chest is rising up and down and also simply listen for breathing. Put the side of your face against theirs and feel for breath and condensation. A mirror placed near the mouth would also show condensation.
3. C is for circulation - Once the airway is clear and they are breathing, you need to make sure that oxygen is circulating around the body. This can be judged by finding the pulse. Gently press two fingers (not a thumb) to the left or right of the throat and move around towards the back of the neck.

As well as employing the ABC technique you should keep the child warm and make sure they don't eat or drink until the situation is under control. A child may seem fine but be careful as a head injury can be deceiving so and make sure they are seen by a medical professional.

About Author

When anybody receives a head injury it can be dangerous but if children are involved they should be immediately seen by a professional so it doesn't develop into a spinal injury or something more serious.

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