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Injury Prevention and Safety

Baby got a soft spot on his head.

12/20/2007

Question:

hi my baby is 8 months old and he fell out of a shopping cart while at walmart, he fell and hit the back of his head but he seemed okay. but three days later i noticed a soft spot on the right side of his head. i thought it was a bump but are bumps supposed to be that soft? i dont know how he got that. was that caused because of the fall? or was it something else ? he seems alright and acts normal, but is he okay? what should i do?

Answer:

That is always a scary thing to have happen! He was fortunate not to have a more serious injury. If at this point, he seems perfectly normal and active, has not had vomiting, bleeding or pale yellow fluid coming from his ears or nose, then all is well and you need do nothing. If there is no depressed area on his head where his head hit the floor, then you need do nothing. The fluid would most likely be just soft tissue swelling from bumping his head. If he has any of the concerning signs I mentioned, then you should take him to his doctor.

Probably the most important thing to do right now is to start making it a point to always fasten the safety belt in the cart or in your baby seat securely around your son. If a cart does not have one, don't use it. At 8 months and older, all children are very active and eager to build their skills in crawling and walking. Many protest being restrained for their safety. Their loving adult caregivers know that they need protection, however. It's a good idea to keep him as active as possible before shopping so he is less driven to be active and more willing to relax and look around.

I hope he is his usual happy, healthy self! Have great holidys together! For more information on holiday safety, you may want to visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website, www.aap.org, for more tips.

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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University