Baby & Toddler Head Injury: How to be Prepared

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It is absolutely heartbreaking when your child gets hurt, at any age. But it’s even more difficult when they can’t speak and tell you how bad something hurts! As a mom, you want to take away all of their pain, and protect them from every danger. 

Unfortunately, accidents happen. You try to prevent them the best you can, but kids get hurt!

I never in a million years would have imagined my son would only be 1 year old and have busted his head open! It never had crossed my mind that I needed to know what to do in case that ever happened to him. 

And I know my son’s head injury could have been much worse than it was, and I’m so very thankful he is okay. However even writing this post and reliving his injury, brings back the anxiety I experienced that day.

Read to find out what exactly happened when my son busted his head open and how to be prepared in case this ever happens to you!

This Head Injury Blog Post Includes:

My Son’s Accident…

I was home alone with my son because my husband was at work. He works about 20 minutes away.

My son was 19 months old. And ever since he learned how to walk, he RUNS everywhere. He has a TON of energy and is always on the move! 

We had just moved into a new house! The trim around our windows and the board and batten in the kitchen are done with wood 1×4’s. This means they have sharp edges instead of being rounded like regular door trim. I would ABSOLUTELY do trim with more of a rounded edge if I could choose again!

My son and I were playing and running around the house. I was hiding around corners and calling his name. He would listen to my voice and find me! It was around 11 am and I was trying to tire him out for his nap. 

I went into his room and hid behind a chair, then I started calling his name. He started to run to his room from the kitchen and I heard him fall. I sat there for a second because usually he falls, gets right back up, and starts running again. 

But, he didn’t get up. He started crying really loud. You know, the I’m hurt kind of cry. I sprinted to the kitchen as fast as I could. He was laying face down in the floor by the board and batten.

When I lifted him up from the floor, his precious little face was COVERED in blood. Of course he was screaming, terrified, and in pain.

He had fallen and hit his head right on the edge of the board and batten. His head was busted open on his forehead. 

He had blood running into his eyes and mouth. There was so much blood. I didn’t know what to do. My heart was racing! 

I was all by myself. I was thinking, “What do I do”?! Do I call 911? Do I put him in his car seat and drive to the hospital while he’s screaming with blood running down his face? What do I do? 

I carried him over to the kitchen sink and put paper towels on his head to try to stop the bleeding. He’s still screaming and the blood is going through the paper towels quickly. 

Calling For Help

While I was holding the paper towels to his head, I called a family friend who lives closest to me. She lives probably 8 minutes away.

It was such a gift from God that she answered the phone and was at home! I had her on speaker phone and said “There’s blood everywhere” as she heard my son screaming. She said “I’m on my way”. PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE! I had someone to help me. 

While she was on her way, the bleeding started to slow down. Then, his head finally stopped bleeding and he stopped crying.

But, I was still so shaken up. 

My friend got there and helped me come up with a plan. While I comforted him, she called urgent cares to figure out where to take him. (I also called my husband and he was able to leave work to come home.)

Then she held him while I packed his diaper bag. I gave him some Kid’s Motrin to help with the pain.

Going to Urgent Care for a Head Injury

By the time I was ready to leave the house for Urgent Care, my husband got home to go with me. I was bracing myself for what was about to come.

I was thinking about how I was going to keep a toddler calm when his head was being stitched back together. 

Once at Urgent Care, we sat my son on the exam table and gave him his favorite snack. I was getting really nervous as I looked over at the tray with all the tools laid out to stitch him up. I was still trying to mentally prepare myself for what was coming.

Then the doctor says “we can glue this back together“.

OH PRAISE GOD. She said the wound wasn’t too long and it was a clean cut, so she could glue it!

While she cleaned and glued the wound, I was pretending to bite and kiss his little chunky arms to make him laugh.

He sailed through it. It was over. He was going to be okay. I could breathe again.

The Haunting Anxiety Afterwards…

I know that this may sound like such a minor injury to some people. But, I really struggle with anxiety and this was my baby, my whole little world.

When I tried to go to sleep that night, I kept picturing what had happened. I kept imagining when I had lifted him up from the floor and saw his face covered in blood.

It’s like that image was etched in my mind. It was haunting for awhile.

As days went by, my anxiety about him getting hurt again lifted. I ordered foam for the board and batten and went a little baby proofing wild in our house.

Even when he falls now…I still freeze for a second. Bracing myself for what I’m about to see.

Tips in Case of a Head Injury:

-Know who you can call. I’ve gotten phone numbers of sweet neighbors since this happened and I feel more at ease knowing there are people close by that could help in an emergency. (Side note: I basically live in the woods. It takes about 15 minutes to get anywhere.)

-When a wound won’t stop bleeding and the gauze/cloth/paper towel is soaked with blood, don’t remove and switch cloths. Put more on top of it and hold direct pressure. 

-Call 911. I could have called 911 to say I was panicking and didn’t know where to take him, what to do, etc. They are there to help!

-Ask your pediatrician where to take your child if they ever needed stitches. Better to know ahead of time than calling around with a hurt child like I did! 

-You need to go straight to the emergency room if your child is  throwing up, acting strange, the bleeding won’t stop, or your child won’t stop crying after a head injury. They will not see you at an urgent care, you need to go to the hospital. 

-Anxiety for mama may linger for a while after this happens, but if it doesn’t seem to improve, talk to your doctor. 

*I am clearly not a certified health professional.

I was a terrified mama who was really shaken up when her baby had a head injury!

This is just my opinion from what I learned from my personal experience, and how I can be better prepared if this happens again…Lord willing it doesn’t. 

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Head Injury Children: Quick Things to Know in the event your child has a fall that requires stitches! #injury #baby #toddler #child #stitches

Head Injury Children: Quick Things to Know in the event your child has a fall that requires stitches! #injury #baby #toddler #child #stitches

6 thoughts on “Baby & Toddler Head Injury: How to be Prepared”

  1. Hello
    Sorry to hear that the experience is always terrifying reading this today brought back memories to my similar experience. My son was 11months then and we had just moved to a new house and I managed to baby proof everything as he was walking and running everywhere as well.That day I was with him at home and I was going to the washroom with him behind, all of a sudden he slipped and fell in an open place and hit his head to my surprise it was a place I will never think or can never be able to baby proof(those lines that separate tiles and wall) not sure what’s the name.
    I was soo terrified that I started crying myself as blood was everywhere and the first thing that came in my mind was to put a plaster in the wound so the opening will close and then took a phone called my husband who didn’t understand a word I was saying as I was still crying. The only thing he understood was something bad had happened at home.luckily he came within 10 min and we took him to the hospital were he got stitched.On the way to the hospital I also managed to give him some panadol.It was similar size as your son’s. It was one of the worst experience I ever had and I pray I will never experience again.

    PS: That day one thing we had agreed with my husband was that if something happened ever I should take pictures if I can’t talk so I could not freak him so bad hahah.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! It’s so scary! It wasn’t something I ever thought I needed to be prepared for when becoming a new mama! I’m praying it doesn’t happen to us again either. But, my little boy is so wild and ALL boy, keeps me on my toes! I’m so glad your little one is okay! I’ll have to remember sending a picture!! I was hysterical as well and wasn’t the best communicator.

  2. Wonderful and much needed post, Lauren! I’ve had this experience twice last summer with the same child…it is so scary and intense. Thanks for sharing your heart and vulnerabilities here. I hope your sweet little one healed up well.

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment, this by far has been my post difficult post to write. It was such a scary day, as you know! My little guy has just a faint scar now! I hope your child has also recovered well!

    1. I’m so, so sorry. It is such a helpless and terrifying feeling. I hope your son recovered and is doing well. We just hit the one year mark since my son’s accident and it still can be haunting at times.

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