It is impossible to get children to stay still because of the way they are. They are playful, intrepid and curious by nature, which means they inevitably get bumps and bruises every now and then. Fortunately, most of them should have no major consequences.
The first thing to do is to make sure that the child is not seriously injured, that no bones have been broken and that they have not suffered a blow to the head.
General tips to prevent bumps or falls
Never leave a young child unattended.
The following safety measures can also be useful to prevent this type of accident:
- Use safety gates on stairs.
- Install child safety systems on windows and balconies.
- Fit protectors on furniture with sharp corners and edges.
- Always fasten the safety straps on highchairs, rockers, hammocks, etc.
- Place something to soften the fall next to the bed or cot.
Blows to the head
Blows to the head in children are very common. In fact, it is estimated that 50% of head or cranial injuries occur among children under 15 years of age.
This is because childhood is a stage of psychomotor learning and in which children tend to overestimate their abilities.
Fortunately, the vast majority of head injuries are minor and harmless, nothing more than a bump or a small wound. However, they tend to cause great concern among parents and caregivers.
So much so, that falls and blows to the head in babies and children are a frequent reason for visiting the emergency services.
When children hit their heads, it is important to know how to treat them correctly and to be clear about when to take the child to the doctor.
After receiving the blow, we must monitor their condition for 24 hours or, ideally, for the next 72 hours.
If there are any unusual symptoms or behaviour, you should go to the doctor, especially when, after the blow to the head, the child:
- loses consciousness,
- appears stunned, drowsy or responds worse to stimuli,
- is repeatedly vomiting,
- has pupil asymmetry,
- is suffering from seizures.
Blows to the head with an injury
If the child is bleeding, it is important to see if they have embedded foreign bodies and if the bones give way when touched; in these cases, the wound should not be touched and the emergency services called immediately.
If you have a cut on your skin, wash it under running water, apply pressure to the wound with a gauze pad to stop the bleeding, and apply ice wrapped in a cloth.
In the event that the wound is deep and large and may need stitches, you should go to the medical health centre within four hours.
In the event that the child has a bump, apply some cold to the area in the form of ice wrapped in a cloth or a cold gel pack.
Another recommendation is to use specific products for bumps for children. These are usually formulated from medicinal plants with a calming effect. Among them, arnica, devil's claw and sea feverfew.
They can also contain ingredients that provide a cooling effect, such as mint.
It is important to observe whether the bump grows, or it is long or soft; in this case, it would be necessary to go to a medical centre as soon as possible.