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Skull Fracture in Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider within 1 week or as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Quiet play will keep your child safely busy so he does not become restless and risk injuring himself. Have your child read or draw quietly. Follow instructions for how much rest your child should get while he heals. Do not let your child play sports or do other physical activities until directed by his healthcare provider.
A neck brace may be needed to prevent your child from moving his head and neck. A neck brace may be soft or hard and helps prevent further injury while his fracture heals. Ask for more information about a neck brace and about how to care for it.
If your child has a head wound, ask for directions on how to care for it.
Help prevent another skull fracture:
- Always securely fasten your child in a car safety seat in the back seat.
- Do not leave your baby alone on any furniture, such as a bed or couch. Place him in a crib or playpen if you must leave him unattended.
- Do not let your child dive into a shallow pool or in water where the depth is not known.
- Make sure your child wears proper protective gear when he plays sports. Gear includes wrist guards, a helmet, kneepads, and a mouth guard that meet safety standards.
Contact your child's healthcare provider if:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your child's headache worsens even after you give him pain medicines.
- Your child is vomiting.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's injury, treatment, or care.
Seek immediate care or call 911 if:
- Your child seems confused or more fussy, restless, or sleepier than usual.
- Your child has blood or fluid coming out of one or both ears.
- Your child is not hearing well, has slurred speech, or blurred vision.
- Your child has a seizure.
- Your child has weakness on one side of his body or trouble with balance.
- One of your child's pupils is larger than the other.
- Your child is suddenly dizzy and short of breath.
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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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Learn more about Skull Fracture in Children (Discharge Care)
- Head Injury
- Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness
- Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage
- Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness