Sister Clara Muhammad Health and Wellness Center Sister Clara Muhammad
Health & Wellness Center

Care For The Child Who Has Hit His Head
(Minor Head Injury)

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Surprisingly for parents, small children, and especially toddlers, are always hitting their heads. They will often have bruises on the forehead in various stages of healing. Parents will often wonder, "what do people think we do to him?" But if those people have ever had small children, then they know exactly where those bruises come from!

It is very important to look at your home to ensure the hazards that can cause more serious head injuries are not present. Small children will often bump their heads on the corners of coffee tables and end tables. The youngest infant can fall from a sofa or bed even though you have used blankets and pillows to guard them. They will also bump their heads on the corners of fireplaces. A particular area where more serious head injuries can occur is any area with stairs. All stairs should be gated so that a child, with a child's curiosity, will not inadvertently fall. It is not enough to 'be there to watch them'. Some very serious accidents have happened with the parents just a few feet away. Children can be too fast when they make their minds up to do something. And don't forget - sometimes the only way you will know your child has learned to climb or roll is when you find them atop something or have them fall from something.

IF A CHILD DOES STRIKE THEIR HEAD:
* If there is no lose of consciousness, they can usually be watched at home.

* It is normal for a child to be sleepy after the accident. It may not be time for their nap but it is okay to let them sleep. There is no need to keep them awake.

* You should check your child every hour for the first few hours and then at intervals for a full 24-hour period.

* Your child should be as easily aroused from their sleep as they are normally.

* Your child's pupils in his eyes should both be the same size. If one pupil is bigger or smaller than the other, then you should contact your health care provider.

* Your child should recognize you and other family members as usual and, if older, remember what happened.

* Your child's smiles and other facial expressions, as well as the movement of arms and legs, should be the same on both sides of the body (equally forceful and symmetrical).

* Your child may have a large goose-egg on their forehead and this is normal. A goose-egg is a bruise, or a collection of blood under the skin, which will reabsorb. Sometimes, as it reabsorbs, the blood may come down around the orbits of the eyes, causing a black eye or eyes. Often, the children look worse several days after the injury than they do right after the injury. This too is normal.

* The bruising may also involve the white part (sclera) of the eye. This does not affect vision and is not painful, and will reabsorb without treatment. If there is any pain or problems with vision, you child should be seen by a health care provider.

* If there is a laceration at the site of the injury, there will be lots of blood. There will be more blood than you could ever expect, though the laceration may be very small. This is a normal occurrence, because the head and face are very vascular, or have a lot of tiny blood vessels. This makes for a lot of blood and also a fast healing process. Lacerations should usually be seen, especially if repairing them is needed to stop the flow of blood, to pull the edges of the skin together, and thus to minimize the scar.

* Your child may vomit after they have hit their head. This is minimal and normal. Treat the vomiting like you would if they had the flu. Persistent or repeated vomiting should always be discussed with your health care provider.

* If your child shows any of the signs and symptoms, which can be a problem and are mentioned above, they should be seen. In addition, you should be concerned about prolonged, severe headache, irrational behavior, unsteady walking, or a convulsion, and call your health care provider immediately.

*As a parent, your role is not that of a health care provider, even if you are a health care provider in your other life. If you feel your child should be seen, even though on the surface everything looks okay, TRUST YOUR INTUITION! Your feelings are a valid reason for you to seek care.

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This site is not meant to be a substitute for regular visits to your Health Care Provider, nor should it take the place of their advice. However, it is one other source of information for you and your family. It is advised that you see your Health Care Provider for the evaluation and treatment of illness. The links from this site may contain information that is not in line with the teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and His Followers, the members of the Seventh Family of The Nation of Islam. Unnatural birth control and abortion are never condoned.
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