Falling is part and parcel of a child acquiring new motor skills like walking, climbing, running, skipping and many others. Also, children bumping their heads now and then is pretty common. Thankfully, most of the time children end up with scratches and bruises rather than serious injuries.
However, on occasions, a child may be unlucky enough to sustain serious injuries which require a doctor’s attention. As parents, it is crucial to know situations where a child needs to be seen by a doctor.
What are the signs?
A child who develops any of the following – loss of consciousness, persistent vomiting, severe headache or dizziness, difficulty in walking, oozing blood or fluids from the nose or ears, drowsiness, change of behaviour or fits following a bump on the head should be seen by a doctor. These symptoms could signify a serious head injury.
It is often difficult to tell whether a bone is broken especially in a young child. However, any swelling associated with pain and unwillingness to move the limb could be a clue.
One of the most common injury to the eyes is a scratch over the clear part of the eye (cornea). A child could have symptoms from severe eye pain, tearing, constant blinking or some might hold their eyes closed. Any accidental injuries to the eyes, especially for those less than five years of age need to be examined. That holds true for even minor injuries.
Most cuts and scrapes are superficial injuries and can be treated at home. Cuts which are deep, gaping or do not stop bleeding in 10 minutes will require medical attention. The same goes for cuts in particular areas such as the eyes and cartilage of the nose and ear.
Having two very active kids at home, I always make sure that my first aid kit is well equipped. After all, accidents can happen any time!
Dr. JoAnn Rajah is a child specialist that provides pediatric care to baby and children in Selangor and KL. Her core strength lies in diagnosing early signs of child health issues and guiding parents on how to manage them.