20 Month Old Fell on Her Head

Updated on February 18, 2010
T.W. asks from Norwalk, CA
8 answers

While at Target, my daughter flipped out of the shopping basket, onto her head. I head a thump as she hit the floor. Wondering if any of you have had experiences with head trauma or falling on head. Please tell me something so I can feel better. I feel so bad that this happened. I can't stop crying. She seems to be fine, but I can't be too sure. Thanks moms!

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answers from Los Angeles on

So scary! I just (half an hour ago) happened to read a magazine article in Parenting Magazine that covered this exact thing. Good news - she is probably fine!!! Here is what the article said:

6. Your 2-year-old topples out of the shopping cart. The goose egg is huge and he's hysterical. Head to the ER?

Probably not -- screaming is a perfectly healthy reaction. "The vast majority of kids with head injuries are fine, and the size of the bump rarely has anything to do with the extent of the injury," says Dr. Zibners. There are loads of blood vessels in the head and face, so the swelling can be dramatic. The exception: Any child under a year of age who experiences head trauma should always be checked out by a physician because signs of injury are harder to detect in a young infant, she emphasizes.

For kids older than 12 months, you can take a watch-and-wait approach. "If your child is crying but can get up on his own and is moving about, he's probably just fine," notes Dr. Zibners. Keep an eye on him for the next few hours to make sure he doesn't limp or favor one arm; vomit, especially after some time has passed; or become sleepy (and it's not his usual naptime) or especially irritable. If you see any of these signs, call the doctor. And, of course, if your child is motionless or unconscious, or refuses to move after his fall, you should call an ambulance right away.

For the full article: http://www.parenting.com/article/Baby/Health/10-Common-He...

I hope she is ok. I know how you must be feeling tonight - please try not to feel so guilty!


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answers from San Diego on

This sort of thing happens ALL the time. My 2 year old actually was running full speed, looked behind him without slowing down, and ran headfirst into a brick wall splitting his head open to the skull. 9 stitches.

Kids fall from baskets, playsets, up and down stairs, off bikes, out of cars, and over their own feet. That's not even to mention ones, like my son, who run into walls at full speed.

Doc's have seen it all, never feel like a bad mum for the normal bumps, bruises, and cuts of childhood. My mom used to swear she was going to wrap me in cotton and put me to bed until I turned 18.

Regardless of what the parenting magazine says, unless you're conversant with how to diagnose concussion, depressed fractures (where a usually circular part of of the bone breaks inward toward the brain -and then swells up like crazy), and subcranial bleeding (bleeding into the brain)...Take Him In. I actually AM qualified to triage, but I still take my son in to be checked out if the list of "possibles" is scary.

It will probably be nothing, or mild concussion at worst. But what is the bigger hassle, an hour or three in urgent care...or WISHING you'd gone to urgent care or the ER? The floors in Target are made of cement. If an adult fell 4 feet and clonked themselves on the head the store manager would have called an ambulance, if they hadn't had a family member there to drive. (Actually a smart manager would have called an ambulance no matter what, so it would be documented that they refused medical care, so that the store wouldn't be eld liable in on a wrongful death suit...but that's neither here nor there.)

What I usually do is picture myself on the evening news, if the worst were to happen...am I the mom who didn't seek medical attention for my child, or am I the mom who immediately rushed my child to the doctor?

So toss the embarrassment, these things happen, WAY more than we want them to. Do the responsible thing, and there's nothing to be embarrassed about. and you don't want to mess around with head injuries. In point of fact, I'm going to write a letter of complaint to the parenting magazine as soon as I can go collate the data and statistics on head injuries. Even better, I think I'll also post it in the health sciences department.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

So sorry to hear that she fell! We used to drop my baby brothers all the time, (on accident) and they always got goose-eggs, but always turned out fine. If you're really worried, then take her to the doctor, but if she seems fine, I'm sure she is! :D



answers from Los Angeles on

T., I know this request is old. I just wanted to add that my daughter fell out of a shopping cart about a year ago, around the same age as your daughter. Please do not feel bad and don't blame yourself. My daughter always manages to get out of the seatbelt, always!!! The belts on the carts are horrible and half the carts are missing the belts. You turn your head for one second and they can tumble out. I always laugh at the employees in the stores telling us to have the kids sit down, as if we choose to have them stand in a shopping cart. My son has never tried to stand in a cart. It's amazing how kids are different. For the most part my daughter learned her lesson and listens much better now.



answers from Los Angeles on

I have 4 kids that have fallen on their heads and had big goose egg bumps that would make you cringe. However, when my 9 month old fell out of my sons arms and onto his head on the tile kitchen floor my mother instinct told me this was different. The bump was not a large as other bumps and did not bleed. However, I felt that I should take him in. It turns out he had a skull fracture and was admitted overnight in the NICU at Huntington Memorial.
He had no bleeds and no other side effects after all the MRI's and CT's and blood work they let him go the next morning.

Moral of the story...if you just don't feel right out it take your baby in. Don't feel bad though accidents happen and usually it is nothing. Take a picture because my 13 year old still laughs at the picture of the big goose egg he got when he was 1 year old. I tell him he wouldn't be a straight A student if he hadn't knocked his brains in order!!!
Good Luck



answers from Eau Claire on

I know this is an old post, but I wanted to share because I thought this was funny; I just found this post because my nearly-2-year old just did the same thing last night. My Google search was 'My 2-year-old fell out of a shopping cart at Target and hit her head. What do I watch for?' I happened to run into a random EMT who told me she was probably ok and I should watch for crankiness, listlessness, vomiting, etc. I'm mostly looking now for whether or not to worry about her crankiness this morning; after reading the responses I'm waiting on a call back from her pediatrician's nurse. Thanks, moms!



answers from Reno on

I have had THREE kids, each have taken more then one tumble out of something, ending with goose eggs bumps. As most of the other moms say, whatever makes you feel the most comfortable is what you should do. When my first fell out of the stroller and got a goose egg bump we went to the ER. I was told to to the wait and see thing unless there are signs that tell you different. If the child seems fine, no vomitting, dizziness, or other obvious signs, then wait. Also I was told that if a child hits his head HARD and there is NO bump that is a bad sign..someting about things going IN instead of OUT, so a visable goose egg is okay. Good luck. All three kids have been there and done that, all three are fine, and have wonderdul pictures of those bumps =} I tell my oldest (who is now ten) that the day before her first birthday I shoved her out of the stroller to get to a shoe sale LOL Its a family joke now and we have pictures to prove it.



answers from Las Vegas on


I truly hope your child is ok but I always err on the side of caution. If you are uncomfortable at all, please just check with your doctor or urgent care.

I also wanted to comment on the falling out of the cart issue. I work at Target and it is amazing how often this happens. Parents, please please do not let you little ones stand up in the carts. They are top heavy and falling out is a reality. And when they connect with the metal rim around the bottom of the cart it can get ugly!

Best wishes, M.