Injuries to the head in infants and children can cause different medical and surgical problems, ranging from mild to severe. In India, children between 1 to 15 years comprise a considerable proportion of the total population, who are vulnerable to Traumatic head injury. In developed countries, paediatric trauma mortality still represents more than half of all childhood fatalities, which is 18 times more common than brain tumours. Each year in India, childhood head injuries result in tens of thousands of emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Although 70 percent of the children have minor head injuries, thousands of children die and many more develop permanent disabilities each year from head trauma.
Almost all children bump their heads accidentally, resulting in minor bumps, bruises, or small, shallow cuts in the scalp. Sometimes, more serious injuries happen with deep cut or open wound, fractured skull bone(s), or from internal bleeding and damage to the brain. Concussions may cause immediate loss of consciousness for a few minutes up to a few hours after the traumatic event. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, they are graded on a scale of I to III. Childhood head trauma is sometimes more serious than a concussion. However, the injury is from a direct blow to the skull will be severe. A recent clinical profile and diagnosis of head injury Tamilnadu in children conducted by various sources in different hospitals in Tamilnadu reveal that 68 percent of the children were injured due to falls inside homes. Low balconies, railings with convenient footholds for children to clamber over, terraces, stairwells and parapet walls with wide gaps have been identified as the main culprits. Severe head injuries – particularly those caused by falls from high places and accidents – also can be accompanied by cerebral contusions, injuries to spinal cord, neck bones or to other vital organs inside the body which can complicate the child's treatment and make recovery more difficult.
What to Look For
As soon as the mishap occurs, and up to a few days after, it's critical to watch for confused or slurred speech, not moving neck normally, blurred or double vision, difficulty with balance or walking, headaches, vomiting and pupils that are bigger than normal or of unequal sizes. Enquire your child whether he feels sick or has trouble tasting or smelling, nauseous or tinnitus (a ringing in his ears).
For toddlers, menacing signs include swelling at the fontanelles (soft spots, where your baby’s skull bones haven’t fused together), high-pitched crying vomiting, lassitude, difficulty feeding etc. Head injuries can even cause a dent in the skull. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your pediatrician. Also, head straight to the emergency room should your child lose consciousness.
The duration of symptoms depends on the type and severity of the injury. Each child is different so also every concussion. For example, pain from minor head injuries usually lasts for only a few minutes. Symptoms from a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) often get away within minutes or hours after the injury, but the child may have some messiness, memory loss, dizziness or fatigue, difficulty concentrating and headaches, that lasts for several days or even longer. This set of symptoms, called post-concussive syndrome, sometimes can last for days or even months. Severe head injuries can be fatal, so a child with this type of injury should be closely monitored in hospital so that any complications that arise can be dealt with promptly and effectively.
Dr. Shyam Sundar K is one of the best neurosurgeons in Chennai. With 11 years of experience, he has carved a niche for himself in the various fields of neurosurgery including the head injury treatment Chennai. He has been associated with various multispecialty hospitals of Chennai like Fortis, Venkateshwara Hospital, C.S.I. Kalyani Multi Specialty Hospital etc. to name a few. He also serves as Consultant Neurosurgeon at Voluntary health services (VHS), Taramani and Achantha Lakshmipathy Neurosurgical centre.
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