Injuries and When to Be Seen by Your Pediatrician
By Dr. Jennifer Ragsdale
Even though school is starting, we still have plenty of warm weather left to enjoy! When the temperatures are up and kids are playing outside, we tend to see an increase in injury visits, as opposed to our standard sick season concerns. When an injury does unfortunately occur, many parents want to know when to seek medical care for their child. Here are some guidelines to follow when you’re wondering if a doctors appointment is in your child’s near future.
Your child’s cut may need to be seen by the doctor if it is more than a quarter of an inch deep. In addition, if the cut continues to bleed after fifteen minutes of holding gentle pressure, then the cut needs to be seen and likely repaired. These repairs are most successful if done within six hours of the injury. If you see any fat, muscle, or bone in the wound, your child will need to come in for a visit. Remember that if the cut was made by a dirty or rusty object, be sure to give us a call. We want to make sure your child is up to date on their tetanus immunization and discuss with you if the cut sounds like it is high risk for getting infected.
Also called fractures, a broken bone is a very common injury that usually occurs from a fall. If your child’s bone looks crooked, or if you can see bone sticking out, it is time for a trip to the ER. If your child has swelling and is hesitant to use the injured part of the body, then you should call the office to be seen by your pediatrician. Broken elbows are particularly tricky and sometimes require immediate care, so it is good to get those checked out right away. Ankle injuries occur commonly and can cause a great deal of swelling and discomfort. It is acceptable to ice and elevate the injured ankle for a day or two before bringing your child in to be seen. Finally, if your child has pain in a bone or joint that doesn’t go away after a few days, then they need to come in to be evaluated.
A concussion typically occurs in a person as a result of a collision injury, or fall. If a child loses consciousness (blacks out or passes out) after a head injury, then they need to be seen right away. Likewise, if the child begins to vomit after a head injury, you should call the office. Other symptoms suggestive of a concussion include headache, nausea, light sensitivity, dizziness, mood changes, and difficulty concentrating. If your child experiences any to these symptoms after a head injury, you should call for an appointment.
We want you and your family to enjoy these long evenings as much as possible! Remember to try and do so safely, but if an injury does occur, we are here for you. Happy playing!