Toddler Head Bumps

Updated on February 21, 2012
J.S. asks from Merrimack, NH
8 answers

Emilyn (17 months) was just at the park she went down the slide and bumped her head at the end. She now has a pretty good size bump on the back of her head, but seems to be acting fine ... should I call the doctor? Is the bump a good or bad sign?

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answers from Chicago on

Bumps are so scary for moms! Your small child's skull isn't fully fused together yet and this is actually good. Not only does it enable the head to fit through the birth canal but I'm told it also provides extra shock absorption in those early, clumsy years. Bumps are normal and OK. Keep an eye on your child for the next 12 hours. If your child starts to vomit or is crying inconsolably (sign of a possible headache) or is listless and behaves abnormally then go to the ER. Those are signs of swelling in the brain/hemorrhage and can be successfully treated if you go to the hospital. Otherwise she is most likely just fine.
Last year our baby boy fell off a couch onto the hard wood floor hitting the back of his head. An hour or so later when we fed him he vomited. He vomited several times so we took him to the ER where they had to do an MRI to make sure he didn't have brain swelling or bleeding. Thank God he was fine but that was so scary. Makes you want to keep helmets on them all the time, doesn't it?! ;D

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I think she's probably okay too. My son, now almost 2.5, still hits his head daily. It produces some sort of bump or bruise probably every 1-2 weeks, this kid is a maniac! ;) During his first year he visited the hosptial 3 times for a head injury, so I feel like somewhat of a self made expert in this category!

Anyway, what I learned was that if they hit their head hard and there is no bump, that could be a bad sign, it could mean that there is an internal break or bleed. Also, if the head or the bump is concave, that's also very bad. Also, it is apparently "normal" to vomit once, even twice, after hitting your head hard so unless a child continues vomiting or vomits multiple times in a row, no need to to learn that one first hand too.

If you are ever worried you can always wake your child up every couple of hours to make sure they are able to become alert and responsive. This won't actually keep them from going into a coma, b/c if a coma is coming, you can't really stop it, but it will allow you to react and address it more quickly.

Anyway, I'm sure your daughter is just fine, but I like to share my tips whenever I can, it makes me feel like all that money I paid towards hospital bills can help others too! :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

I'm sure she's just fine. Swelling is the body's natural response to trauma, big and small... this is small ;)

If her pupils are uneven or unreactive to light, she throws up, she is unusually fatigued, simply isn't 'acting herself', refuses to eat, or keeps losing her balance, take her in immediately.

Otherwise, invest in a 'boo boo bunny'; this will be the first of many, many bumps and bruises!!

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answers from Minneapolis on

She should be fine, watch her behavior. If she seems overy sleepy, cranky, sick, vomiting, scratching at her ears, her eyes are bloodshot looking or the pupils seems to act funny. Then call. If she seems just fine and calmed down quickly after the initial injury, she is likely just fine. Bumps come with the skin and scalp trauma. Its localized swelling.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I would say she is fine.

My daughter has knocked her head SO bad 2x! Once was from running and falling face first into the fireplace ledge...OMG! The lump in the middle of her forehead was immediate and the size of a GOLF BALL! I was scared out of my MIND! After the $500 ER visit I was reassured that all was well with her! Thank Goodness!

The 2nd one was when she slipped through the guard rails and fell a good 5ft onto hard ceramic tile landing...another large bump...another $500 ER visit and she was fine!

As long as the pupils are the same size and she is not throwing up and falling asleep...I bet she is fine...but I am a worrier and NEED the ER visits...obviously!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

the bump is a good sign!! that means that there isn't swelling inside her head. If she bumps her head just a little then I wouldnt worry. But if it is a big fall or she hits her head pretty hard, falls from high up etc, then a bump is good. it never hurts to call the doctor, but I would say she is okay. especially if she is acting normal. they say if they hit their heads hard and either dont cry at all, sort of like in shock, or they cant stop crying, and are acting out of the norm, then call doc/take to the ER. hope she feels better soon!


answers from Dallas on

She sounds fine to me too. I love her name btw :)



answers from Omaha on

I agree with MartyMomma and Rachel D. Their advice is exactly what a doctor/nurse would tell you to watch for in case of a concussion. I have also heard that bumps that come outward are better than bumps that go inward. I am sure she will be just fine. Kids are pretty resilient, thank goodness!

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