Ask the Doctor
Baby With a Bumped Head
It can give you a real scare when your baby bumps their head. Thankfully, most head bumps are minor and don’t cause problems. If you have a baby with a bumped head, keep reading for some helpful tips, and details about our children’s urgent care clinic right here in Portland, Oregon.
When babies bump their heads, the most important first step is to take a deep breath and take a careful look at your child. After most minor head bumps, your baby will seem stunned, cry, and then console within a reasonable length of time. They should act more or less normally afterwards, and not vomit. If your baby seems fine after the head bump, does not have visible signs of injury to the head, and is acting normally, you probably don’t need to do anything other than keep an eye on them.
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How to Apply an Ice Pack to Minor Injuries
Scalp Injuries - Not Always a Reason to Worry
Assuming your child does not need a trip to Pacific Crest Children’s or the emergency room, they probably have a mild injury to the scalp.
These minor injuries typically involve a bruise or very mild swelling at the site of the injury. Sometimes these injuries will look worse 1-2 days after the initial impact due to the significant amount of blood vessels in the head and face. After the blood collects in the scalp, it can track freely over several days and spread out in size which is why these types of injuries can look worse before they look better.
For minor injuries that you aren’t concerned about, apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the site of injury for 10-15 minutes. You may repeat this treatment as much as once every hour as needed for comfort. It’s important not to apply the ice directly to the skin as this can cause injury to sensitive tissue. Pay close attention to your child for 24 hours after the injury, if you get worried, make sure to seek medical care.
About paciFIC Crest Children's Urgent Care
Pacific Crest offers urgent care for kids in Portland, Oregon. When it's not quite an emergency, come to us for caring, personalized pediatric care at a fraction of the cost of the emergency room. Here's a guide to when you should visit us, and when you should visit the hospital.
When to visit us
- Head bump with visible goose egg (or hematoma)
- Fall from > 3 feet
- Mood seems off
Went to visit ER
- Baby is sleepy and difficult to wake up
- Highly upset and not calming in a reasonable length of time (10-15 minutes)
- For children who are talking: repeating themselves or slow response to questions