If your baby gets hit in the head and briefly passes out, yet there are no other symptoms once the baby comes back around, this is a situation that should never be blown off.
So what should a parent do?
“My baby passed out after getting bonked in the head, but it was only for a few seconds, and she seems perfectly normal, like it never happened,” a parent might say.
Babies take a lot of knockins’ to their noggins simply because babies are very exploratory in nature.
Most of these are harmless events from which nothing arises – except maybe a “goose egg” swelling.
Though the goose egg could look mighty nasty, it is simply not indicative of presence of probable brain injury.
On the other hand, if a baby gets clonked in the head and it looks perfectly normal – not even the slightest discoloration – but the baby passed out for only a brief period – this is FAR more worrisome than some nasty-looking blue and purple bump.
“‘Passing out,’ is defined as being unaware and unresponsive to one’s surroundings and should be cause for concern in an otherwise healthy child,” says Dr. Charnetta Colton-Poole, MD, a board certified pediatrician based in Atlanta, GA.
“An initial episode of loss of consciousness after a head injury could have many causes, none of which should be taken lightly,” continues Dr. Colton-Poole.
Take the “just” out of “just a few seconds.” Loss of consciousness for just a few moments means that the hit in the head possibly caused damage that requires medical intervention.
Dr. Colton-Poole says, “My advice to any parent whose child is otherwise healthy is to have the child evaluated by your pediatrician to get a thorough neurologic and cardiovascular exam, as well as monitor for any other abnormal signs including vomiting, confusion or other altered mental status.”
There may be no treatment, not even a CT scan of the head, depending on how the baby does once he’s under observation by medical staff.
But if the baby begins showing signs of neurological symptoms, a doctor may want to immediately order a CT scan. If the symptoms begin getting worse, for sure there will be a CT scan ordered.
With 15+ years in the medical field, Dr. Colton-Poole is also a medical communication strategist and content creator.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.