Inside: Our toddler fell and hit back of head. What do we do?
The other day we had a scary situation with our son. We were actually out celebrating our anniversary, and all went to sushi after work/daycare pickup. After that, we decided to walk next door and get some ice cream. Because there’s always time for ice cream.
Well, this time my son was so hyper and kept bouncing in his chair. He just couldn’t sit still. What 3-year-old can? One of those bounces resulted in him sliding out of his chair and landing on the ground. This kid hits head pretty often, gets back up and it doesn’t phase him. But this time was different.
He didn’t fall far, and it looked like his butt hit first, but he was lying there with his mouth open but not screaming. We picked him up and checked him over, and his eyes rolled back in his head. We were very scared at that point let me tell you.
This is a terrifying situation for parents: when your toddler hit head, eyes rolled back. All kinds of scary thoughts go through your head after seeing those eyes rolling back in his head.
It didn’t look like he was breathing, but as my husband started to roll him over to check if he was choking or start other techniques we had been taught, our son took a deep breath and started crying.
He was dazed only for a little bit, we estimated maybe 5 seconds tops, and after that regained all motor function and lung capacity quickly. Due to his eyes rolling back after hitting head, we decided to take him to the ER for observation.
what to do when toddler hit back of head?
When a kid hits their head what to do?
I wanted to share this post with my readers as this is such a common issue all parents face. Children are so full of energy and so reckless with their behavior. We watch them fall over and bust their butts all the time, but what happens when a head injury is more serious? What if your child has a concussion? After a child head injury do you know when to worry? I thought it would be useful to my fellow new moms to hear what the physician and nurses told us.
I am not a health professional. I am a fellow mom wanting to share our experiences and raise awareness. This post is not meant to take the place of advice from your physician.
If your child hit back of head when they fell, especially if your toddler fell and hit back of head on concrete, these are the serious signs you need to look out for.
Signs of a serious head injury:
- Vomiting repeatedly (more than 3 times)
- Worsening headache or a change in the type of headache pain
- Change in behavior (less activity, extreme sleepiness, etc.)
- Clear or bloody drainage from nose or ears
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs
- If the child feels faint or lightheaded
- Problems seeing or changes in vision
- Difficulty waking from sleep or more confusion
If you observe any of these – seek immediate medical attention.
Do you know what concussion symptoms to look for? These are signs of a concussion.
Why do parents worry about a head injury in children?
A head injury from a small fall is usually quite mild, but we are all terrified of a traumatic brain injury and just want peace of mind that our child is fine. Here’s an infographic sharing more information about brain injuries, including concussion symptoms.
So what happened with our toddler head injury and goose egg?
The staff at the ER asked us a series of questions, to describe the event, and specifically how far did he fall and how fast did he get back to normal. The doctor then turned off the lights and performed a neurological exam, which simply means he shined his light into my son’s eyes and made him follow the light by looking in certain directions.
An hour later the doctor repeated the procedures, said the child is fine and sent us home with our goose egg. We asked if he was fine to go to daycare the next day and have splash pad and gymnastics class, and the physician said that should be fine if his condition remains the same.
They told us a fall from a chair isn’t that huge of a concern as far as injuries go – they are more concerned if the child falls from double their height and sustains a head injury. They also said a child that is dazed or in shock for less than a minute is normal for a mild head injury.
They told us head injuries are very common and often mild. They said it is rare to see a worse injury than a bump, but it is important to observe a child after a fall to make sure no changes in their behavior occur. A CT scan or x-ray is not recommended in these cases of mild head injury.
This part is important – I’m sharing it from the packet they gave us in our discharge documents. They said to continue observing him and see if anything changes.
What to look for after a head injury? Here’s more head injury advice.
I found this great video that explains the different levels of head injury and what to look for.
The bottom line is this: is your child acting right? If the answer is no, seek medical attention.
Have you experienced an ER visit due to a head injury in children?
Join the Working Mom List
Join the Working Mom collective and get support and tools to help you thrive! Subscribers get access to my library of resources and printables.
Oh my gosh today my 3yr old was pushed off a slide by another kid. He hit his head and within a few seconds went floppy eyes rolled into his head. Panic god my legs and arms were jelly. Ran to a n e did the light thing like you mentioned and given an info sheet to follow. I’m still in shock from it he seems absolutely fine his normal self thankfully. But I’ll be watching him closely for next 24hrs . Thanks for sharing
Oh how super scary! Glad he seems ok from all this (hugs mama)
This is such an important post!
My youngest son fell off the bed as a baby and his nose started bleeding. I have never run so fast to the car to get him to the ER.
Fortunately it was nothing major.
Yikes so scary when they’re real little.
My littlest took a tumble at the park that left him with a really big goose egg right between his eye. Thankfully we didn’t have any troubling signs.
Ouch not a fun way to end the park fun
This is so important! I have a baby boy and his energy is so different from my older daughter. He’s fallen and been so wild that I find myself googling things like this. So thank you for putting this together!
Thank you Ria!
[email protected] says
This is such important information. No matter how diligent you are as a parent, kids fall down. They just do! Knowing the signs to look for can give peace of mind and prevent more serious complications from head injuries.
They definitely just do, nothing can be done. Thanks Kim!