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Guide for Parents Concerning Head Lacerations

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As parents we know that our children will run around and get hurt from time to time. Your children may be running and playing in the living room and one falls into the corner of the coffee table. As a parent the first thing you might feel like doing is panicking, but don’t do it. Stay calm. Your child needs you to take charge of the situation and know what to do. Children with injuries such as head lacerations tend to be more frightened when they see their parents react in fear.

Head lacerations bleed heavily, because the head is very vascular. Children don’t have as much blood pumping through their bodies as adults, so stopping the bleeding is paramount. Grab a towel or a cloth and press down on the head lacerations, and don’t let off on the pressure. If you notice blood seeping through the cloth or towel, get another towel, or send someone after another towel for you. Don’t let up on the pressure. Add the towel on top of the one already covering the head lacerations.

Small wounds can bleed out like a large one, so at some point you will need to look to evaluate the severity of the head injury. Assuming that the bleeding has stopped you will need to look and see how serious the injuries are. If the head lacerations are relatively minor you can treat them at home. Again, don’t panic. Chances are if your child’s injuries are not serious. If the lacerated area is fairly large and deep; don’t hesitate to call 911 if you are unsure of the severity of the head lacerations. In fact it may be better to call an ambulance rather than trying to take your child to the emergency room by yourself, if you tend to panic. It is better to panic while driving. If someone else can drive you and your child, that would be preferable to driving yourself in a state of panic.

If the head lacerations are only minor, clean the areas with warm soapy water, but be careful not to dislodge the clot. Do not rub or scrub the areas; be as gentle as you can and clean the wound to remove any dirt or bacteria. After you have cleaned the area you can apply an ice bag to the area. Many parents use a bag of frozen peas as an ice bag, which works really well. The ice bag constricts the blood vessels at the site of the head lacerations to prevent the area from starting to bleed again. Ice also helps to reduce swelling, and relieves pain.

Should your child have a serious head wound, do not attempt to treat it at home. Just apply pressure and call 911 for assistance. Try to keep your child still until the EMS arrives at your home; they can take over from this point on. The paramedics will be able to assess your child’s over all condition, by determining his/her level of consciousness, and assessing vital signs. The EMS workers can then transport your child to the hospital for emergency medical treatment.






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