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Head Injuries and Learning Opportunities

Saturday night there were six “big kids” in my house… by big I mean over the age of three and my eight-year-old was the oldest. My brother- and sister-in-law were in the process of moving and to (hopefully) relieve some stress I brought all of the children home with me to eat dinner while the guys went to grab another load. I love houses full of children. It’s my happy place, but it can also be hazardous… and it was Saturday night.

As Ryder was running through the living room he somehow took down the high chair with him as he fell; with Emma strapped in it. I’m not sure exactly what happened here. I was stirring noodles in boiling water and heard the fall. It sounded bad. You know when your kid falls, and you just cringe? You can just tell no good will come of it? That’s how I felt. At first, all seemed fine. Emma cried for about ten minutes but calmed and nursed. She didn’t have any visible signs of a concussion and was behaving normally. NoΒ eye dilation, no Exorcist vomiting, no excess drowsiness= no hospital. I thought we’d been lucky and dodged a bullet. I was in awe of the fact she didn’t have a knot on her head!

Sunday morning Emma was the happiest baby at church. She smiled and cooed at everyone and even let a friend of mine hold her for more than ten minutes while I attended to a VBS meeting. (EEK! VBS, SO EXCITING!) Once we got home, ate lunch, and settled, Emma napped like usual. The only difference was when she woke up from her nap Lylah upset her (probably from just looking at her), so I picked her up and kissed her head. Only, it was squishy. The right side of her head was slightly swollen and soft to the touch. I’ve never in my life felt something like that before. Injuries usually don’t freak me out. But this did. I threw on shoes, filled the diaper bag, and left.

After hours in the ER, one visit from a social worker, and a CT it was determined Emma had a skull fracture and a slow bleed. Protocol requires the ER to also run a full body scan and extended blood work for head trauma to children who are not yet mobile. This was so frustrating, but I had to keep telling myself these are the things that catch child abuse. If they believe every story of an “accident” there wouldn’t be children saved from it. It took seven pokes, four RN’s, and a trauma surgeon to get blood. This was the worst part of the whole experience in the ER.

We were admitted for 24-hour observation, and trauma came in to examine her as well as ophthalmology to ensure there was no bleeding behind her eyes. Once it was determined the bleeding stopped, and her eyes were fine we got to go home with a strict warning to not let her fall or bump her head anytime soon. (I’ve seriously considered a helmet, LOL.)

After we picked the kids up from grandmas, they immediately had questions about Emma’s head. So, what’s a homeschool family to do if they don’t research? We Googled and YouTubed all about bones and the brain. About the difference between fractures and breaks, and about hematomas. Everything is a lesson when you homeschool! We’ve wrapped up our short study on the brain (everything is a quick study when you’re dealing with small children and short attention spans) and we’re going to be moving on to the skull next. I never imaginedΒ everything would turn into a lesson when we began homeschooling, but I love it!

Follow this link to see how the brain study turned out!

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