When your kids get hurt, it can be tempting to whisk them off to the hospital at the first sight of blood. New parents are especially prone to taking their child to the hospital for minor injuries like nosebleeds and head bumps. While you may be filled with panic and guilt when your child gets a boo-boo, not every injury warrants a trip to the hospital.
You SHOULD take your child to the hospital if:
- They have a wound that will not stop bleeding after 1o minutes.
- Your child is vomiting or seems unusually pale or sweaty.
- They cannot move the injured limb, fingers, or toes. They may have a broken bone and need an x-ray.
- They have crushed their finger or toe and it looks deformed or if there is blood under the nail.
- They are unconscious or unresponsive.
- You notice a change in their pupils and they are not acting like themselves.
There are some injuries that toe the line of scary and treatable at home. Here are some tips to help you treat what you can at home:
A bump on the head.
We have probably all experienced that terrible feeling when you see your child, as if in slow motion, bump their head. A few seconds later, your child begins to scream and you might be convinced that they are going to have permanent brain damage. Take a deep breath, and after you make sure your child is responsive, apply and ice pack or frozen vegetables to the spot for about 20 minutes. This will reduce the swelling. If your child has a dizzying or worsening headache that does not go away, seek medical help. Otherwise, keep an eye on them for the next 24 hours. Don’t let them go back to playing sports, and wake them every few hours if they do go to sleep afterwards.
This can be one of the more surprising injuries your kid can get. Seemingly without warning, nosebleeds can come and go. If they are coming frequently, seek medical help, as your child may need a CT or PET scan to make sure that there is not a bigger underlying problem. If your child seems normal aside from the blood coming from their nose, DON’T have them lie down or tilt their head back, this will make them swallow blood. Have your child tilt their head slightly forward and pinch their nostrils, holding firmly for about 10 minutes. If you stuff tissues in their nose, this could reopen scabs and make them bleed again, so try to avoid that.
Smashing a finger or toe.
Once you have reprimanded that mean door for hurting your babies fingers or toes, check to make sure they are not deformed and there is no blood under the nail. If there is not, apply an ice pack or run it under cool water to lessen swelling. Clean it with soap and water and bandage it if there is blood. Watch it for the next few days, but do not attempt to straighten it on your own if it seems broken or fractured. A doctor will need to order tests from a radiologist to determine if it is broken.
Remember, your kids will freak out, but that doesn’t mean you should too. Staying calm can often times help your little one calm down themselves, and reminding them that this happens to everyone will also help. Try to distract them with happy thoughts, ask questions about their favorite things and try to keep them from looking at blood or looking at the injury. Once you and your little one have calmed down a bit, you will be glad you didn’t spend extra time at a hospital if it wasn’t necessary.
Tower Radiology Centers practice has been Tampa’s most trusted since 1970. As the leader in outpatient radiology services throughout the Tampa Bay area, they are dedicated to the highest quality patient care utilizing state-of-the-art technology and recruiting highly trained radiologists. Their highly trained board-certified subspecialty radiologists provide unparalleled experience in outpatient diagnostic radiology, with specific training in Neuroradiology, Vascular & Interventional Radiology, Neurointerventional Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, High Resolution CT, Ultrasound, High Field and Open MRI, Women’s Imaging, Pediatric Radiology, Cardiothoracic Imaging, and Musculoskeletal Radiology.