If it hadn't been for little Leela, I would not have thought of writing this blog. Leela was a bouncy 9-month-old who after an active, and exhausting morning fell asleep.
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The tired and grateful mother promptly lay her down on the bed, put pillows around her and stepped out of the room. The next thing she knew was a loud sound followed by an equally loud wail. When she rushed back into the room Leela was on the floor head down and crying with all her might.
The panicking mother picked the child up and rushed her to our hospital. Leela had already quietened down and seemed extremely happy with the turn of events, in contrast to her anxious and near-hysterical parents.
Most parents of young infants would have gone through this experience at least once if not more. After the age of six months as children grow, they tend to fall multiple times as curiosity is far superior to caution in that age group. We often spend considerable time every month counselling such parents that fall are a part of childhood.
What a parent needs to know is which are dangerous and need immediate medical attention. Those which are associated with unconsciousness, fits (seizures), bleeding from the ear, nose and mouth, and repeated vomiting (more than 3- 4 times in 4 hours) need immediate attention.
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In addition, obvious deformity of skull, hands or feet, or inability to move a limb also need medical assistance. A child may develop these symptoms within 24 hours and hence he or she may need to be observed for this long. However, in most instances, the injury is innocuous and the child settles down after overcoming the initial shock.
Prevention is, however, better in every instance. Hence once your child becomes a little mobile say able to crawl, it is best to keep the baby on a mat or Dari on the floor especially if unsupervised, even if you are just stepping out for a second!
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