Child care: Close look on fall injuries

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Fall injuries are prevalent among children below 18 years old. Even though most cases are not serious, injuries from falling from a height is considered as the main cause of death among children.

Aside from falling from a height, fall injuries among children can also occur from falls while running, playing, walking or when engaging in sports.

What are the signs?

The typical indications of fall injuries among children might include:

  • Pain and swelling in the site of injury
  • Lacerations
  • Bruising and contusions
  • Injury to the legs, arms and head
    Control any bleeding by placing pressure using a clean cloth or sterile dressing.
  • Fractures that might involve the shoulder, wrist, arm or skull
  • Injury to the spinal cord that range from minor to severe
  • Internal injuries including bleeding if falling on blunt or pointed objects

Management of fall injuries

The initial step is to call for emergency assistance right away for the following:

  • Significant bleeding from the site of injury or bleeding from the ears, nose or mouth
  • Possibility of injury to the neck, head, hip or back
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Child could not move or loses consciousness

For a minor case, the following must be taken into consideration:

  • Try to comfort the child
  • Any visible wounds should be cleansed using water
  • Apply an ice pack to lessen the pain and swelling.
  • Control any bleeding by placing pressure using a clean cloth or sterile dressing
  • If a fracture is suspected, the affected site must be immobilized

In case there is no injury present, instruct the child to remain seated or lie down for awhile before assisting him/her to stand up. Monitor the child for the next 1-2 days to ensure that there are no other signs of injury that might arise.

If there is an open wound, a tetanus shot might be required. For older children, an over-the-counter pain medication can be given in cases where the pain is intense.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on fall injuries among children is for learning purposes only. Learn how to properly manage the injury by taking a standard first aid course with Red Deer First Aid.

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