How to Prevent Head Injuries? 

Prevention of childhood injuries is best achieved through close adult or caregiver supervision as children may not be aware of the potential hazards in the environment around them.

Infants & Toddlers:

  • Do not leave your baby unattended, even for a few seconds, on an adult bed or baby cot without proper barriers
  • Do not use a sarong cradle as the infant may fall out of the sarong or the springs/attachments of the cradle may break
  • Do not leave your child in a baby walker unsupervised. They may topple over and your child may fall and sustain a head injury
  • Do not shake or rock your child too violently as this may lead to rupture of blood vessels in the brain causing bleeding within the brain

School-going children:

  • Do ensure that your children use a properly fitted protective helmet for activities like cycling, skating, roller-blading etc
  • Ensure that your child put on protective gear including helmets, knee pads and elbow guards when using mobility devices. This is important to prevent severe head and limb injuries.
  • There are different types of helmets for riding bicycles and rollerblading. Some tips for proper helmet fit:
    1. The helmet should be placed squarely on top of your child’s head and not tilted to the front or back. It should rest no more than 2 finger breaths above the eyes.
    2. Before buckling, tighten the dial-adjust knob at the back of the helmet. The helmet should stay firmly in place when your child shakes their head even when unbuckled.
    3. Adjust the sliders on the straps to form a V at the base of your child’s ear. 
    4. Adjust the chin strap sufficiently so that only 1 finger can fit in between the strap and the chin. When your child opens their mouth, the strap should pull down on the helmet slightly. 

Signs and Symptoms of A Potentially Serious Head Injury

Bring your child immediately to the emergency department or call an ambulance if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that suggest a serious head injury:
  • Becomes unconscious or unresponsive
  • Vomits persistently after the incident
  • Exhibits changes in his/her behaviour e.g. drowsiness, agitation, confusion or irritability
  • Walks unsteadily
  • Complains of blurred vision
  • Complains of a severe or worsening headache
  • Has blood or clear fluid exuding from the ears and/or nose.
  • Exhibits seizures or abnormal movement 

If your child is behaving, eating and playing normally after a head injury, you may choose to monitor your child at home or to take your child to the family doctor or polyclinic for a review.

Usually, features of severe brain injury manifest within 72 hours of the incident.

Please do not hesitate to bring your child to see a doctor if you have any concerns or if your child develops any of the symptoms mentioned above.

​First Aid for Minor Head Injuries:

  • Hold and comfort your child.
  • Put a cold compress or ice pack on any bumps or bruises.
  • Let your child rest for the next few hours.
  • Watch your child closely for the next 72 hours for any unusual symptoms or behaviour.
  • Seek medical advice immediately if their condition worsens.

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