Whenever your kid hits on the floor from a counter, crib, highchair, bed or couch, you have to take a comprehensive check for any injuries, particularly if he or she falls on the back or head.

You would need to be sure if your baby would break his bones, have any serious injuries and internal hurts or suffer a loss of consciousness. In fact, the bones of a baby are soft while a fall could be serious, so they will not break as easily as these of the older kids.

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If your baby seems fine and acts normally, then it is likely that the fall did not lead to any serious injuries. Be thankful and keep observing him or her carefully throughout the next day, particularly when he or she fell or bumped on the head.

If you are not comfortable with the seriousness of the situation or think that your kid must be hurt or if your kid gets confused and irritable easily, immediately call a doctor to find out the problem.

Serious signs after a head bump that need emergency

  • Loss of consciousness
  • You are not able to stop the bleeding with pressure
  • A seizure
  • Not responsive ( If your kid is not responsive while still breathing, he or she might be unconscious due to the fall.)
  • Broken or cracked bones, including an apparent malformation. For example, a leg or an arm that is not aligned correctly or a wrist that is improperly bent
  • A possible fracture in skull ( A swollen and soft part on his or her scalp, particularly on the edge of his or her head (behind or above the ear); blood or pink fluid flowing from her ears or nose; or blood presenting in the white of the eyes)
  • A concussion, including excessive sleeping or persistent vomiting. Based on the age of your kid, try to notice any variations in the way he walks or crawls; confusion or weakness; dizziness or headache; or issues with vision, speech and motor skills
  • A possible injury in his or her brain, including uncommon movements of eyes and variations in the size of pupil
  • Screaming or continuing crying, which would mean a possible injury in the inside such as the bleeding in the abdomen

How to deal with a head bump

It is usual for a child to have a “goose egg" on his or her head, particularly in a kid who is just learning to move around by himself. However, this does not mean that your kid is severely injured even when a head bump would seem frightening.

When the swelling happens on his head, most of it would stick out as the skull of your kid is only under the skin. To alleviate the bump, you would wrap a pack of ice in a diaper or thin towel and then hold on the bump from 2 to 5 minutes, on and off for 1 hour. In this situation, feeding or nursing your kid could help to divert him or her from the discomfort and chill.

If you consider that your kid is disturbed by the head bump, call a doctor to ask for a proper dose of ibuprofen or paracetamol (acetaminophen). Never use aspirin for your baby because it could result in an uncommon but serious problem known as Reye's syndrome.

How to avoid any serious injuries from a head bump

Bruise and small bump are inevitable elements in the development of independence and motor skills. However, as long as the playing area is free of hazards, sharp edges or stairs and the kids are under careful supervision, a fall would be unlikely to result in any serious injuries.

When your kid falls down, do not react too strongly. He or she would become excessively cautious if you rush to the side after each head bum. If she is unhappy, comfort her calmly and encourage her to stand back herself.

Always bear in your mind that falls and bumps are the most common reasons of accidental injuries in kids. And most of these would be avoided easily.

What should you do to keep your kid safe

  • Cushion any sharp corners in furniture as these are one of the most common reasons for bruise and bump in kids. For example, sharp corners of a table need to be padded, or you might find it necessary to pack it away until the kids are getting confident and walk steadily.
  • Remove all rugs till your kid is not tripped up by them. And take a non-slip carpet to prevent the kid from sliding when you are wash her in a big tub.
  • Do not let your kid stay near deck or elevated porch. Put sheet in acrylic glass (such as Plexiglas) or guard on railing and banister when your kid could fit in the rail.
  • Move away furniture, table and chairs from any windows.
  • Always pay special attention when you are holding the kid on any changing tables. A couple of models are made with straps, which could help a mother to keep the grip on a real wriggler. However, they might not avoid a head bump, so do not let your kid on a table alone.
  • Make sure that the stairs are free of anything that you would trip up while carrying your kid.
  • Lower the mattress of your kid when he or she begins to stand up in the crib.
  • When you are shopping at a supermarket, fasten your kid in the cart with a buckle. And do not walk away from it. Similarly, remember to strap the kid into the highchair or stroller.
  • Always keep an eye on the child if he or she starts to climb on the furniture. This is to make sure that you would act timely when he or she would fall.
  • Set up guard on the windows. Do not use screen, which is not made to keep your kid from falling.

Nancy D. Richardson

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