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not to go to A&E with head injury - 6yo

(57 Posts)
JonSnowKnowsNowt Thu 13-Aug-15 19:49:04

6yo DS hit his head this lunchtime - fell off a bench in the kitchen (from a sitting position) on to his head on a hard slate floor. I wasn't with him at the time so didn't see what happened, but it sounds like he was just sitting right on the edge of the bench, reading, and slid off the end - not sure how he managed to land head first.

Anyway, at intervals through the afternoon, he's said his head is hurting, although otherwise seems completely normal - playing, running around, went swimming etc. etc.

Just a bit worried that it's still hurting now at bedtime. It's not the scalp, I've felt all over that and there's no tender bits, and no injury that you can see/feel. DS was particularly tired at teatime too, though that's not unusual for him esp. when he's been swimming.

Part of me wants to take him to A&E just to be sure, but DH thinks that's an over-reaction, and looking online, I think he's right.

All the websites say to check on them in the night - but check for what? What can you tell when they're asleep?

Bunbaker Thu 13-Aug-15 19:50:18

Why not ring 111 and ask for advice?

Lj8893 Thu 13-Aug-15 19:51:28

Ring 111, but they will probably tell you to get him checked out.

What your meant to check when they are asleep is that they are not concussed, if you can get them to stir slightly then they are ok.

ArendelleQueen Thu 13-Aug-15 19:55:55

Is there a lump? I wouldn't take one of mine in that situation but you have to do what you feel comfortable with. I'd not go straight to A&E though, phone 111 first.

Methe Thu 13-Aug-15 19:58:11

If he's complaining of headache I'd want him seen if he were one of mine. If it's just localised pain from the bump I'd leave it if he's behaving normally.

I had to take 6yo da to the hospital a couple of months ago after he head butted a tables. He was sick and sleepy but they said these things are normal. They weren't worried but I was frantic! After a couple of hours sleep in a&e he was ok and talking about having a McDonald's.

Drs said they worry when there's multiple episodes of vomiting, confusion or pain.

Wolfiefan Thu 13-Aug-15 19:58:58

I didn't take my 5 year old after a recent bump on the back of the head. But I saw the accident and she definitely didn't lose consciousness. She did received first aid. The injury was also in the morning so I could keep an eye on her all day.

UrethraFranklin1 Thu 13-Aug-15 19:59:55

I wouldn't. What do you think A&E will do that you can't? Kids get bangs on the head, its normal. No loss of conciousness, not vomiting, no altered behaviour.....there is nothing they can do in A&E for him.

WantToGetLost Thu 13-Aug-15 20:02:22

Only if he's complaining of headaches I would take him

chickenfuckingpox Thu 13-Aug-15 20:02:46

do you have a minor injuries near you? i agree its not an a&e issue but if your concerned a nurse could take a look all they do is check pupils give calpol and reassurance if needed

Singleandproud Thu 13-Aug-15 20:04:35

Taking him will put your mind at ease even if it's a wasted journey.

If you choose not too Concussion can appear anything up to a week after the incident possibly longer so if he shows any signs of it get him to the hospital /.GP sharpish

Bunbaker Thu 13-Aug-15 20:05:35

UrethraFranklin1 I think your "advice" isn't very helpful. Yes, children bang their heads on a regular basis, but I know of two children who had subsequent brain bleeds after a similar a bang on the head. The OP is being sensible asking for advice.

A & E can check for all sorts of things after a head injury.

JonSnowKnowsNowt Thu 13-Aug-15 20:30:41

He is asleep now. I've just been up and nudged him and he stirred and turned over - does that mean no concussion?

No lump on head. No other symptoms other than headache. He wasn't alone when it happened - another adult was there, and definitely no loss of consciousness - he came rushing straight upstairs to get a cuddle from me.

The only concern is the headache. No minor injuries unit here, it would be A&E.

What do you see in their pupils? Not much help now he's asleep, of course.

StitchingMoss Thu 13-Aug-15 20:33:41

Bun baker, what do you think A&E would do? I'm always intrigued. Of course his head hurts! As poster up thread said they worry with multiple sickness episodes, loss of consciousness etc, not just a sore head!

Findtheoldme Thu 13-Aug-15 20:34:36

I just have a feeling that a bump is good, is pressure being let out so I am wondering if no bump can sometimes mean it needs checking?

Go on your instinct. Worry about your child more than any perceived waste of time of doctors.

Hidingbehindclouds Thu 13-Aug-15 20:36:58

Turn the light on, and look at his pupils, if they are both the same size and shrink in the bright light, then I wouldn't worry. As long as you can wake him as easily as normal and he's not vomiting, and recognises you/isn't struggling to walk/speak etc. if anything changes, take him to a&e

AboutTimeIChangedMyNameAgain Thu 13-Aug-15 20:39:22

I took my ds recently when he did a similar thing, however he was vomiting. They just kept an eye on him for a bit and we got sent home, luckily.

Charis1 Thu 13-Aug-15 20:52:44

I know someone who collapsed with compression more than 2 weeks after hitting his head. He survived, but was left permanently disabled. I'd never take a chance with a head injury.

Floggingmolly Thu 13-Aug-15 20:58:16

Yes, findtheoldme, the absence of a lump can mean the swelling has gone inward instead of outward; definitely not good.
Why on earth would you post here congratulating yourself on not getting your child medical attention, op?
I'm always flummoxed at these threads confused

UrethraFranklin1 Thu 13-Aug-15 21:04:57

Actually my advice is very helpful and based on extensive experience in A&E.
If you take a child to hospital and tell them they banged their head, didn't lose conciousness, didn't vomit, didn't act any differently..played and swam and ate dinner, they will wonder what on earth you are doing there. They will not XRay. They can't do any tests. They will let you sit there for several hours and do few simple checks, none of which a sensible parent can't do at home.

He banged his head, and has a headache. OF course he does. He doesn't need medical attention at the present time. There is no medical attention to give him. So again, WHY would you go to A&E with a symptomless child, and WHAT do you think they will do? Other than silently wish you would piss off home with your child?

I've had a child with a brain bleed. I know what I'm talking about.

3littlebadgers Thu 13-Aug-15 21:05:07

Findtheoldme is right as far as I know. Bumps are a good sign. I took DS to a&e last year after a bump to the head left him with a bump the size of an egg. The doctor reassured me that a bump means the swelling is on the outside of the skull, rather than on the inside, where it could cause a problem.
Maybe call 111 and ask them, just for your own peace of mind. Could you take him into bed with you for the night just to keep a closer eye on him? It is likely to be nothing to worry about but rather play it safe where heads are concerned.

ArendelleQueen Thu 13-Aug-15 21:05:55

I find the running straight to A&E attitude even more flummoxing. Common sense ain't so common any more! Also, where was the OP 'congratulating' herself? confused

RichSheffield Thu 13-Aug-15 21:06:57

I work for the ambulance service and can echo some of the advice on here, relax it doesn't sound like a serious injury. I think you've done exactly the right thing!

He cried straight away, then normal behaviour and no vomiting. Don't worry about checking pupils, a head injury serious enough to cause altered pupil size means the brain is swelling significantly and they won't be concious let alone behaving normally.

It's normal to be worried but from what you've said there's nothing that would trigger a CT scan unless the child was on blood thinning medication which if they were you'd have been given detailed advice regards head injury.

To all those saying the age old line about checking for piece of mind, I can understand where you're coming from but this thought process is clogging the system. A&E is overcrowed with people 'just checking', we cannot cope. As it sounds like the OP has done, gain advice from the NHS website or phone 111.

Imnotaslimjim Thu 13-Aug-15 21:09:44

My only worry is that there isn't a lump. DD knocked herself out age 3, and Dr said as there was a lump (actually a huge haematoma) that he wasn't too concerned. Its when they take a blow and there is no lump that they worry as the pressure can go inwards

However, you've said he's roused easily, and hasn't vomited or complained of nausea. If you can do the pupil check that hidingbehind has mentioned, that would put your mind at rest

UrethraFranklin1 Thu 13-Aug-15 21:14:00

Usually when there isn't a visible lump, its simply because there is no lump: the knock wasn't hard enough to produce one. Thats all. You can't go to a&e for everything just to check.

JonSnowKnowsNowt Thu 13-Aug-15 21:16:08

Why on earth would you post here congratulating yourself on not getting your child medical attention, op?

That would be odd behaviour, if it had happened!

I haven't rung 111 - just from previous experience (a different DC who had health problems when younger) they don't triage and just always say go to hospital, which isn't helpful. i have been through all the websites, starting with NHS Choices, which all seem to say the same as Rich and Urethra - i.e. a headache alone isn't enough for any sort of investigation.

Good advice about bringing him into bed with me though, I think I will do that, just for my own peace of mind so I can prod him. It is nice and reassuring hearing him give a heavy sigh and turn over (have just popped upstairs to do it again!)

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