Most head injuries in children are minor and don’t require hospitalization. Some, however, can be serious and require immediate medical attention. Children may suffer head injuries from a fall, from being hit with an object or from the result of more significant trauma, like a motor vehicle related accident.
Never move a child who may have a serious head injury. Doing so could cause more harm.
Nannies should be aware that child abuse is a major cause of head trauma in children under age 2. Always seek medical attention if a child under age 2 experiences any head trauma.
In children over age 2, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that for anything more than a light bump on the head, the child’s doctor be called.
If a child loses consciousness, has a seizure, has oozing of blood or watery fluid from the ears or nose or has abnormal speech or behavior as a result of head injury, call 911. If a child is drowsy, has a hard time being awakened or has a persistent headache or vomiting, call the child’s pediatrician. If there are any changes in a child’s condition the doctor should be called right away.
If a child incurs a head injury playing a contact sport or by a blow to the head, the child should be evaluated for a concussion. The Mayo Clinic defines a concussion as a traumatic brain injury that affects brain function. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. Violent head shaking can also cause a concussion.