Child Head Injury: When To Worry? | All About Head Injury

What is head injury?

Head injury is damage or trauma to the head and, most specifically, to the brain. This may or may not include brain.

Child Head Injury

A head injury damages the scalp, skull, brain, or other tissues and blood vessels.

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A head injury can be as mild as a bump, bruise, or a cut on the head. Or it can be a concussion, deep cut or open wound, broken skull bones, internal bleeding, or even brain damage. However, head injuries are the first cause of inability in children.

When To Worry?

If your child falls and gets hit in the head but warns and reacts to you, he may be indicated for a head injury if he shows symptoms in the next 36 to 48 hours.

Such as unreliable crying or snoring, vomiting more than once, causing anxiety when having difficulty sitting and walking.

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Table of Contents

Causes of head injury

  • Penetrating trauma
  • Blunt trauma
  • Traffic accidents
  • falls
  • physical assault
  • Accidents at homework, outdoors, playing sports.
  • Violence and abuse

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Classification according to GCS(Glasgow coma scale)

  • Mild Injury: (GCS 13-15) Loss of consciousness up to 15 min.
  • Moderative Injury: (GCS 9-10) Loss of consciousness for up to 6 hours.
  • Severe Injury: (GCS 3-8) Loss of consciousness greater than 6 hours.

Types of head injury

Scalp Injury

  • The scalp is many blood vessels so that any scalp injury may bleed profusely. Control bleeding with direct pressure.

Skull Injury/Skull Fracture

  • Skull injury includes fracture to the cranium and the face. If severe, it can lead to damage to the brain.v.
  • Linear Skull  Fracture
  • Depressed  Skull  Fracture
  • Basillar Skull Fracture

Types of brain injury

Concussion

  •  It is a mild brain injury and temporary loss of neurologic function with no apparent structural damage.
  •  If there is a loss of awareness, it will be for 5 minutes.

Contusion

  • A contusion is a bruise to the brain caused by a direct impact on the head. It may lead to bleeding.
  • The patient lost consciousness for a considered amount of time.

Diffuse Axonal Injury

  • It is characterized by extensive generalized damage to the brain. Axon is stretched and damaged.
  • It is a severe form of injury.

Intracarnial Hemorrhage

  • Intracranial hemorrhage is defined as any bleeding within the skull.
  • May or may not be seen with a fracture.

Types of Intracranial Hemorrhage

  1. Epidural Hemorrhage
  2. Subdural Hemorrhage
  3. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
  4. Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Symptoms of head injury

  • Disturbances of consciousness-confusion to coma
  • Increased intracranial pressure
  • Headache, vertigo, and disorientation
  • Agitation, restlessness
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pupillary abnormalities
  • Changes in vital sign-tachycardia, tachypnea
  • Altered or absent cough reflex.
  • Sensory impairment
  • Paralysis

 

Diagnosis

  • History and physical examination
  • CT scan and MRI
  • X-ray skull
  • PET scan
  • Blood test
  • CSF Analysis

Complications

  • Coma
  • Chronic headaches
  • Loss of or change in sensation of hearing, vision, taste, or smell
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Speech and language problems
  • Death

Treatment

If a brain injury is normal, it heals in a few days. If it is severe, then it is admitted to the hospital. In such a situation, it takes a few months for a person to recover. For example, brain examination is done in case of emergency.

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The airway of the brain is not open. Breathing is checked. The flow of blood is stopped. The bone, i.e., the neck, is stabilized. Medication is given to reduce the pain.

When a bone is broken, it is plastered. Heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen delivery work.

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If the person becomes disabled due to injury and some medicines are prescribed to reduce the pain, like giving medicine to people who have gone into a coma to keep them in a temporary coma.

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If there is any injury to the brain tissue, then doctors repair it by doing surgery. Like if there is a coagulation of blood or tissue in the brain etc.
Surgery is done to correct the problem of fracture in the skull. In this surgery, a piece of the skull is removed.

In case of brain injury, the doctor gives speech therapy to the person. Apart from this, forgetting the old sorrow makes you mentally and physically strong. Helps to walk and move.

other options such as,

  • Management of increased intracranial pressure
  • Antibiotic therapy
  • Antiepileptic therapy
  • Supportive measures.
  • Ventilator support
  • Vasodilator for blood pressure
  • Seizures prevention
  • Fluid and electrolyte maintenance
  • Nutritional support
  • Pain management

Surgical  Management:

  • Evacuation of blood clot
  • Debridement of penetration
  • Elevation of depressed skull fracture
  • Suturing of severe scalp lacerations
  • Craniotomies

Conclusion

Most children will recover completely from a concussion. But for some, the effects are severe and long-lasting.

The risk of serious complications is why people should always be taken seriously as a child or adolescent, and older adults should be wary of the signs.

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