Things to Watch For After a Blow to the Head

Today, my 16-month-old daughter experienced her first bump on the noggin (click HERE for full story).  In light of my last post, this is sort of hilarious...

I am NOT a nurse, but I called a local health-line to find out if I should be seriously concerned about Celia, and this is the list of questions they asked me, and things they gave me to watch for (in brackets are the 'good' answers):

  • Pupils - are they the same size as each other? (yes)
  • Is there swelling, and is the swelling 'soft like a marshmallow' or 'firm like a grape'? (firm, like a grape)
  • Does she have any bruising around her eyes, or behind her ears? (no)
  • Is there any kind of fluid coming out of her nose or ears? (no)
  • When she walks, does she wobble as though she's dizzy? (no)
  • Hold your finger, or another object, about a foot in front of her face and ask her to reach out and grab it. Does she seem to have trouble following this command? (no)
  • Is she speaking clearly, or as clearly as she normally does? (yes)
  • Is she able to use all of her limbs completely and normally? (yes)
  • Is she crying or fussing endlessly, and seemingly inconsolable? (no)
  • Does she confused in any way, not knowing where she is, or who you are? (no)
  • Does she seem afraid of you? (no)

I don't know what the opposite answers to any of these questions mean, but the nurse told me that if anything changed in the 6 hours following the injury, to call again or to take Celia in to the hospital.

In her case, there was no blood (they did ask me this), and I assume there would be a number of extra questions that would go along with a bleeding injury.

For the 6 hours, I was supposed to check her at least every 30 minutes (if she went for a nap, to only allow her to sleep 30 minutes at a time), and then to check her every 3-4 hours after that for about a day.

The nurse told me to watch for signs of confusion after waking from a nap - a 'deer in headlights' look, indicating confusion or uncertainty about who you are or where she is. It's nice to have 24-hour numbers to call for things like this...

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