What do you do when your child bangs their head?

What do you do when your child bangs their head?

Why your child should wear a helmet, even on a trike.

Twenty minutes after taking this photo, Harrison was being seen to by the paramedics.

I think it’s fair to say that when you’re a parent for the first time, you will go OTT to protect your child. But for some reason, as they get older (or God forbid you have another child), you tend to relax just a little.

With that said, it doesn’t mean you don’t care. It just means that at some point you’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that your baby is growing up. There will be a time when the stair gates will come down, door wedges will come off and your little one will be applying for their driving licence.

The boys have got three modes of transport, a bike, a scooter and the ‘Little People’s Trike’ that you can see in the picture. It goes without saying (or at least it should) that they are not allowed on their bikes unless they have their helmets on. No helmet, no bike. From day one, that has always been the rule and, to this day, it still is.   

When it came to their scooter’s, however, we were a little more relaxed. When the boys started using them, they both wore helmets. But it has to be said, as Joshua got better and his confidence grew, the helmet was left at home. Harrison, on the other hand, is still learning and therefore still wears his.

Now when it comes to their trike on the other hand (the one that’s in the picture), neither of us even thought about putting a helmet on them. They are sturdy, not designed to race (much to the boys disappointment) and nine times out of ten, one of us will jump to our parenting duties, and they would just sit down and get pushed along.

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But, believe it or not, it was this trike that gave has given us a lesson in why your child must wear a helmet, no matter what. Let me explain what happened so you can avoid the events we went through on that day.

First of all, if you’re not familiar with the ‘Little Tikes‘ trike, they have two settings. One will allow the person pushing to have full control (If you take a closer look at the photo, you will see he has the handles pointing in the opposite direction as the front wheel) whilst the other setting will allow your child to have control.

When we left the park enclosure, Harrison wanted to pedal for himself, therefore, the control was changed. He also asked me to ‘let go’ so he could be the independent person that he is. Turning around to see if I had let go, the wheels turned to the left causing Harrison to come off to the right. With the size of the bump that suddenly appeared, and the amount of blood that came from his head, I think it’s fair to say, I panicked.

Once I had got him home, for the first time in my life, I dialed 999 (although it should have perhaps been 111). Now, this wasn’t to do with the amount of blood that was coming from his head, nor was it to do with the huge bump that had quickly appeared. Rather, it had everything to do with the fact that he had become a bit unresponsive and was trying to go to sleep.

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Thankfully, the paramedics were only three minutes away and until they arrived, the operative had reassured me that everything was fine and that it was normal for a child to try and go to sleep.

As to be expected, the paramedics were very professional, child-friendly and had tried convincing me on numerous occasions that I hadn’t wasted their time. If fact, quite the opposite, I had actually done what any responsible parent would have done.

The only thing I didn’t like was to face my naivety in saying ‘no’ when I was asked the predictable question, “was he wearing a helmet?”

Anyway, you’ll be pleased to know that after a few hours of questions, cuddles and TLC, Harrison made a full recovery and was back to having pillow fights with his brother by bed time. And although he was given the all clear by the Paramedics, Pre-school told me the next day that they thought it best if he stayed at home, claiming he would receive better care at home.

Basic First Aid for a Head Injury

What I learnt from this experience…

  • To clean the wound with damp sterile dressing (kitchen paper is fine if you don’t have one)
  • Apply ice at the earliest possible moment. This will help with the swelling. I was told that it is normal to have a big bump on the head as the blood has nowhere to go apart from out.
  • Very gently touch the bump. If it’s hard then it will eventually go down, but if the bump is soft, then there may be a chance it is more serious. I would suggest calling the emergency services as it may mean there is a crack to the skull.
  • As previously mentioned, it is normal for a child to want to go to sleep. But, as the operative told me, it was important to make sure Harrison was responsive when I tried waking him up.
  • Head injuries always bleed a lot and will consequently look worse than what they are. Although Harrison didn’t need stitches, he did need a little ‘glue’ to help stop the bleeding.
  • Always monitor your child for up to forty-eight hours after the incident. Any signs of concussion, unresponsive floppiness or if your child starts acting or speaking out of character, then please get medical attention immediately.
  • If your child vomits, then seek medical advice.
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This post is intended for information only and not as a medical guide by a trained doctor etc. If in doubt, call your doctor or emergency services.

Useful Websites:

For further advice and if you are able to, read the information provided by the links below.

  1. kidshealth.org
  2. NHS.uk
  3. childrenshospital.org
  4. whattoexpect.com
  5. rch.org.au


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