Head injuries can cause problems in children

When children slip and fall, they might hit their head on the ground. This can cause a head injury. Not all head injuries are the same. Instead, they can range from very serious injuries that are life-threatening down to minor injuries that are unpleasant to look at.

A head injury is any injury that affects any of the structures in or on the head, including the scalp, skull, brain or other tissues. The severity of the injury depends partly on the location and type of the injury. A scalp laceration, or cut, would need to be treated, but there likely won't be any long-term care necessary.

A skull fracture is a serious injury that can cause other problems. There are different types of breaks that can occur. They are differentiated by the location and appearance of the fracture.

A basilar skull fracture occurs at the base of the skull and is considered the most serious type. A linear skull fracture is a break that doesn't involve bone movement. This isn't a serious injury and can usually be managed by monitoring the child. The two other types are the diastatic skull fracture and the depressed skull fracture. A diastatic skull fracture occurs along the natural sutures of the skull and is most often seen in young children and infants. The depressed skull fracture is likely going to require surgical intervention.

A concussion and a traumatic brain injury (TBI) might also occur. These are serious matters, although a concussion might require only monitoring and rest. A TBI might need more serious intervention up to and including surgery.

When a slip-and-fall accident causes a head injury, the parents of the child might choose to seek compensation. This could help to defray medical and other costs.

Source: St. Louis Children's Hospital, "Head Injury," accessed Oct. 13, 2017

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