Kids are generally walking accidents waiting to happen — falling down and hitting their head a time or two is generally something to be expected. However, there’s a big difference between an external head injury and an internal head injury that involves actual damage to the brain.
How can you tell the difference?
External head injuries often look worse than they actually are, simply because the blood vessels in the scalp are both numerous and close to the surface. If the skin doesn’t break, a scary-looking “goose egg” can develop as blood pools under the surface of the skin, causing swelling that can take a week or so to disappear.
Internal head injuries might not show any sign of outward trauma, but are far more dangerous. If your child has suffered a blow to the head (or you suspect that he or she has), watch for the following signs of internal brain injuries:
— Loss of consciousness
— Uncontrollable crying where the child can’t be consoled
— Complaints of headaches or neck pain (or general fussiness in a child that is too young to talk)
— Nausea and vomiting
— An inability to walk or talk normally
— Problems focusing his or her eyes, or pupils of unequal size
— Weakness or paralysis on one side of the child’s body or in any of his or her limbs
Unfortunately, young children are particularly vulnerable to brain injuries when they are either abused by someone with anger-control issues in a daycare setting or when left with a babysitter. They’re also more likely to be injured if someone who was supposed to be watching them didn’t provide adequate supervision.
An internal brain injury can have serious long-term consequences, and early treatment is essential to your child’s chances of recovery. If you suspect that your child suffered a head injury, trust your instincts — even if there are no outward signs of injury — and call an ambulance. A hospital can run tests to determine the extent of any actual injuries.
If your child suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s neglect or abuse, talk to an attorney about the possibility of a lawsuit in order to get the compensation your child will need for the future. For more information on how our firm approaches brain injury cases, please visit our page.