As a mom of two kids, I’ve dealt with my share of falls. My eldest fell from our bed a few times as a baby and even as a kid, and now my 11-month-old youngest fell from our bed a couple of times as well. Despite how many times it might happen, I still get the same feelings of guilt, panic, and even self-loathing.
But the truth is, falls and even bumps for babies are a common accident, especially by the time they’re crawling and cruising all over the place. So us moms should arm ourselves with the right information on how to handle such accidents. Here are a few tips:
What to do right after the fall:
- Try to stay calm and let your child get up or move by himself. Try to reassure him by calling his name and asking him if anything hurts. By letting him move on his own, you can see if he’s hurt based on his natural movements – such as if he’s limiting the use of certain body parts or “grabbing” a painful part.
- If your child is unconscious, call for help immediately.
- If your child is crying, then this can be a good thing as this means he is less likely to have suffered a concussion or a serious traumatic brain injury. If he doesn’t want to get up, let him lay there while you assess him.
- Quickly assess your child’s exposed areas for any bruises, cuts, or bleeding. If he’s bleeding, you can control it by applying a damp cloth and moderate pressure. This can be done as well for “thinner” areas such as the face or head.
- If your child has a bruise or cut, take him to the Emergency Room immediately so they can properly assess and dress the wound. This includes cleaning it to prevent any infection and properly closing or dressing it.
- Calm your child so that he can help tell you if he’s feeling any pain anywhere. If in doubt, it’s best to consider consulting a healthcare professional.
You should also lookout for the following red flags:
Unusual eye movement: If your baby’s eyes seem to be darting around the room unnaturally or if he’s crying excessively. You should also pay attention if he seems to be distracted more than usual.
Immobile extremities: If your baby seems to be unwilling or unable to move a limb or an extremity, then he might have a fracture in the area.
Mismatched pupils: One sign that you should go to the Emergency Room ASAP is if your child’s pupils are not the same size.
Unconsciousness or unresponsiveness: Your baby losing consciousness or becoming unresponsive at any time after a fall accident is considered a major red flag, so it’s best to proceed to the Emergency Room immediately. It’s also important to remember that it’s best to seek professional help any time your child blacks out.
Vomiting: Vomiting after a fall could be a sign of a concussion. So even if your child might not have any external problems from the accident, persistent vomiting should also be addressed by a healthcare professional.
Remember, it’s also best to stay calm as much as possible to address the situation properly.
*Originally published in MomCenter