Diagnosing a head injury

Diagnosing a head injury

It seems like my rambunctious son is always banging his head on something. Although I protect him to the best of my ability, I can’t always supervise him. How will I know if he’s hurt his head seriously, and what do I do?

Kids love to climb, and with summer here, you can expect a few falls. Thankfully, though, not all bumps on the head are serious. Many clear up without any treatment at all.

But if your son takes a spill and then complains of a persistent upset stomach and/or headache, he may have a severe head injury. This warrants an immediate visit to the emergency room! Especially if his complaints are accompanied by these other telltale symptoms: frequent vomiting, unusual sleepiness, unequal pupil size, seizures, vision difficulties, weakness, paralysis in the arms or legs, unusual gait, stumbling, disorientation, labored breathing or dizziness.

The best way to protect your son from a head injury is through prevention. I can’t stress this enough. Make sure he’s wearing a helmet when he’s on a bike and that he understands and practices pedestrian safety. For extra measure, pad his playground equipment with soft, absorbent surfaces: Put wood chips under his home swing set and rubber mats and swaths around indoor play areas. Head injuries can be devastating, so please make every effort to teach him good safety habits now!

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