Children are one of the greatest joys in life. Of course, they’re also among the greatest responsibilities. As a parent, you never want your child to suffer or feel any pain. However, the hard truth is that they will probably undergo mishaps and injuries at some point in their lives.
When your child is a little clumsy or too daring, accidents are likely to happen. There will be scraped knees, bumps, bruises, and so on. Fortunately, most of these issues are minor. With a little antibacterial ointment and a Band-Aid, the child will be good to go!
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However, what happens when a child’s injuries are serious? Parents and guardians need to be aware of the most common childhood injuries before they occur. This way, they can prepare for such events well in advance. Certain symptoms and warning signs can help you determine whether to make your child rest or rush to the nearest emergency care center.
Here are some of the most common childhood injuries every caretaker should know about:
Brachial Plexus Injury
This is a common form of birth injury. It usually occurs as a result of excessive pressure or pulling on the baby’s arm or hand during the delivery. The pulling might cause damage to the nerve network that controls certain body parts. As a result, the baby might experience weakness or even paralysis in those areas.
This sort of injury can be very alarming, but it’s treatable. If your child is suffering due to an incident like this, you should consider consulting a reputable law firm like the Birth Injury Justice Center. The Birth Injury Justice network consists of a team of legal professionals that can guide you through the process. These experts are dedicated to helping families pursue legal action and access financial compensation when they are affected by preventable birth injuries.
How to detect brachial plexus injury?
There are a few telling signs that may point toward this issue. Some of them may include:
- Limited or no movement in the affected arm
- No Moro reflex, which is a response to exterior noise/movement (they should extend both arms)
- One arm seems limp and unresponsive
- The arm is in an abnormal or bent position, not moving as freely as the other arm
- No grasp reflex for an item in their hand
- Weak muscle tone in one arm
- Asymmetry between both arms
- The baby favors one arm over the other
Falls are one of the most common reasons for injury in kids of all age groups. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are around 8,000 daily cases of fall-related injuries in children in the United States alone.
When and where are falls most likely to happen?
Playgrounds, especially when they have slides and monkey bars, are some of the most common causes of injury. Other common fall hazards include:
- Beds, while jumping or climbing on them
- Windows and window seats
- Stairs, while playing or climbing
- Baby walkers
- Any elevated landings or other raised areas without a railing
- Cluttered areas, due to a stray toy or loose rug
Babies and toddlers are especially prone to falls. They don’t have proper control over their movements, so proper supervision is always a must.
How do we know if a fall injury requires special care?
Fall injuries can include sprains, wounds, fractures, and much more. Here are some of the signs that a child needs specialized trauma attention:
- When the impact is on the spine, head, back, or neck
- Any sign of a broken bone, such as a limb stuck out at an odd angle
- Difficulty in breathing
- Bleeding or swelling that won’t stop or keeps getting worse
- Persistent vomiting or nausea
- Any signs of memory loss or unresponsiveness
Fall injuries may be common, but they can be serious. With timely action, you can minimize the damage.
Many kids may walk into walls, get bumped around by other kids, or have other run-ins with their surroundings. Most of these accidents are not serious, occurring only when a child is too distracted while playing.
When are impacts most likely?
While accidental impacts may occur anywhere, there are some situations that pose a higher risk. These include the following:
- A piece of furniture, wall, or door in the way of a distracted child
- An incoming ball from a practice ground
- A falling object, such as a storage box
- An appliance or bulky furniture that wasn’t fixed in place (these may topple over and pin a child underneath)
When do accidental impacts require trauma care?
When a child bangs against an object or is struck by them, they might require special care in the following instances:
- A large impact on the back, spine, neck, or head
- Any signs of broken bones
- Potential internal injuries
- Issues in breathing
- Bleeding, nausea, vomiting, swelling, or headaches (the issue may be more serious if these symptoms are worsening or new)
- Loss of memory or consciousness
Cuts and Punctures
These refer to injuries that are more than just a little scratch. Most cuts and wounds will cause a child pain, but cleaning and patching is usually enough. Here are some situations when cuts and other puncture injuries are likely to occur:
- A bad fall
- Using kitchen appliances or utensils without adult supervision
- Yard tools left out in the open
- Getting hit by a sharp object
- Getting cut by a rusty window ledge or a broken piece of playground equipment
If the cut or wound breaks the skin and draws blood, consult a doctor for a tetanus shot right away.
When to seek trauma care?
Here are the situations that might require trauma care after a cut or laceration wound:
- The bleeding is heavy or hasn’t stopped even after 5-10 minutes of applying direct pressure
- There is numbness or lack of mobility in any part of the body after the injury
- The cut or wound is longer or deeper than half an inch
- The laceration is on the face or head, especially when it’s near the eye
- If the cut is due to a rusty or dirty object
- When the cut has debris embedded inside it
- When there are separate or ragged edges around the wound
- When the cut is due to a human or animal bite
- If the pain is extreme
- When there are any symptoms of infections such as swelling, warmth, a bad odor, fever, redness, etc.
We all want to see our kids playing safely and happily. Unfortunately, accidents and injuries are expected when a child is growing up. The key is to stay aware of what might happen. With knowledge of the injuries above (as well as others), you can take the best precautions possible. Even when an accident happens in spite of everything, you can stay prepared for any emergency.