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Blunt Abdominal Injury In Children

AMBULATORY CARE:

A blunt abdominal injury in your child

is a forceful blow to the abdomen without an open wound. The most common causes in children include motor vehicle accidents, falls, bicycle or sports injuries. Your child's risk for damage to internal organs is greater than an adult's. The risk increases because your child's abdominal muscles are not fully developed. If your child is younger, he or she has less abdominal fat than an adult. Organs such as your child's pancreas, liver, spleen, or bladder may be injured. His or her intestines may also be injured. These injuries may cause internal bleeding and can become life threatening. Your child may have no symptoms at all. Your child may instead have abdominal pain, swelling, or bruises.

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your child's skin is pale and feels cold.
  • Your child has difficulty breathing.
  • Your child has shortness of breath.

Seek immediate care if:

  • Your child has increased pain or tightness in his or her abdomen.
  • Your child has new pain in his or her shoulder.
  • Your child is dizzy or vomiting.
  • Your child has blood in his or her urine or bowel movements.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child is not having bowel movements.
  • Your child has fever.
  • Your child has yellow eyes or skin.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's care or condition.

Treatment for your child's blunt abdominal injury

depends on how severe your child's injury is. Mild injuries, such as bruising and soreness, will be monitored for a short time. Your child may be given medicine to decrease pain. Severe injuries, such as damage to organs, blood vessels, and bones, may need surgery.

Limit your child's activity:

Have your child rest as directed. This will help decrease pain and prevent more injury. Ask your child's healthcare provider when your child can resume normal activities. The following activities will need to be stopped until your child's healthcare provider says it is okay:

  • Gym class
  • Sports
  • Bicycle, skateboard, or scooter riding
  • Activity where both of your child's feet are off the ground, such as jumping on a trampoline

© 2016 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.

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