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Blunt Abdominal Injury in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What do I need to know about a blunt abdominal injury in my child?

A blunt abdominal injury is a forceful blow to the abdomen without an open wound. 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.

How is a blunt abdominal injury diagnosed?

Your child's healthcare provider will ask about the cause of the injury. He or she will feel your child's abdomen. Your child may need blood tests and an ultrasound to see if there is internal bleeding. Your child may also need a CT scan. The scan will show damage to organs, blood vessels, and bones.

How is a blunt abdominal injury treated?

Your child's healthcare provider will watch closely to see if your child's injury is mild and condition is fine. A blunt abdominal injury is treated depending 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. Your child will need to rest to decrease pain and prevent more injury.

What do I need to know about limiting my 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

Call 911 for any of the following:

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

When should I seek immediate care for my child?

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

When should I contact my child's healthcare provider?

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

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. 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.

© Copyright Merative 2022 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

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