Skull Fracture In Children

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

A skull fracture is a break in one or more bones in your child's head. The skull protects your child's brain, nerves, blood vessels, and inner ears from injury.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.

RISKS:

A skull injury may cause bleeding, head deformity, seizures, or infection in the brain. If not treated early, brain damage, paralysis, and even death may occur.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Blood tests:

Your child may need blood tests to give caregivers information about how his body is working. The blood may be taken from your child's arm, hand, finger, foot, heel, or IV.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your child's vein that is used to give him medicine or liquids.

Neurologic signs:

These are also called neuro signs, neuro checks, or neuro status. During a neuro check, a healthcare provider checks how your child's pupils react to light. He may check your child's memory and how easily he wakes up. His hand grasp and balance may also be tested. How your child responds to the neuro checks can show if his injury has affected his brain.

Intracranial pressure monitor:

This is a device that is placed in your child's head to measure the pressure inside his skull.

Emotional support:

Stay with your child for comfort and support as often as possible while he is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.

Medicines:

Your child may need any of the following:

  • Pain medicine may be given. Ask how often your child should get the medicine and how much he needs. Watch for signs of pain in your child.

  • Diuretics are given to decrease fluid pressure in your child's head.

  • Anticonvulsant medicine is given if your child's has seizures.

  • Antinausea medicine may be given to calm your child's stomach and control vomiting.

  • Sedative medicine may be given to help your child stay calm and relaxed.

  • Antibiotics are given to help prevent or treat an infection caused by bacteria. Your child may need antibiotics if the head injury caused an open wound.

Activity:

At first your child may need to rest in bed. Your child's healthcare provider will tell you when it is OK to get your child out of bed. Call a healthcare provider before you get your child up for the first time. If he feels weak or dizzy, have him sit or lie down right away.

Treatment:

  • A neck brace may be used to prevent your child from moving his head and neck.

  • Irrigation and debridement is done when there is an open wound on the head. This helps to clean and remove objects, dirt, or damaged tissue from the fracture area.

  • Surgery may be needed correct damage to your child's skull and surrounding tissue.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Skull Fracture In Children (Inpatient Care)

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