Children's head Injuries

My daughter fell off a slide when she was 4, and was in hospital with concussion for a week. The slide was only a metre high but she fell onto concrete, and her behaviour set the alarm bells ringing straight away to tell me it wasn't the usual minor bump to the head. There was the usual crying, but she started vomiting, and was drowsy very soon after the fall. I called 999 and fortunately after a scan and monitoring for a week she was fine. 

I cover Head Injuries in the Baby and Child First Aid course, but here's some red flag warning signs of a more serious head injury, when you should be thinking about calling an ambulance...

•Temporary unresponsiveness

•Dizziness

•Bad headache

•Confusion

•Vomiting 

•Blurred vision

•Increasing drowsiness

•No memory of what happended

•Weakness in arms/legs

•Convulsion/fit

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Common foods for children to choke on

Which foods

So what foods should we be particularly careful with feeding our children? Having seen a friend's child choke on a burger at a BBQ, I'm more aware that meat being so dense is something that can cause a problem. We're all too aware of whole grapes getting stuck in the airway because they cause a plug so the advice is now to not only cut them lengthways, but to cut them into quarters.  This should apply to other similar foods such as cherry tomatoes. Other foods which should be avoided giving to children under 5 are hot dogs, nuts and seeds, chunks of meat or cheese, boiled sweets, raw vegetables, chewing gum and marshmallows. 

Why young children are at risk of choking

Young children are particularly vulnerable to choking on grapes because children are still learning to chew properly, their swallow reflex is still developing,  their airway is very small and they explore their surroundings by putting food in their mouths. 

Prevention

Cut food up

Always be present when young children are eating

Keep small objects out of reach

Avoid giving a child food in the car especially if there's only one adult in car