Injury Care | Midlothian, VA

child injury doctor

Care of Common Childhood Injuries

Childhood injuries can occur when you least expect it and often in just a few seconds. At Swift Creek Pediatrics, we understand that common childhood injuries occur even when all safety measures have been considered. Accidents do happen, and we are here to help you when minor injuries occur. We have included direct links to the CDC’s prevention tips for the most common childhood accidents/injuries, including:

At Swift Creek Pediatrics, we recommend seeking immediate medical attention for the above childhood injuries. These injuries, while considered the top five most common childhood injuries, are time-sensitive and require emergency medical attention.


Concussions are common among children who play contact sports. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can affect the way your brain functions. Most concussions are caused by a blow to the head by a fall or collision, but concussions can also occur when the head and upper body are aggressively shaken. Concussions require time and rest to heal properly, and children usually make a full recovery.

Common symptoms after a concussive traumatic brain injury are headache, loss of memory (amnesia) and confusion. The memory loss, which may or may not follow a loss of consciousness, usually involves losing the memory of the event that caused the concussion.

 Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:
  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or foggy feeling
  • Amnesia surrounding the event
  • Dizziness or seeing spots
  • Ringing in ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Appearing dazed
  • Fatigue

Some symptoms of concussions may be immediate or delayed in onset by hours or days after injury, such as:

  • Concentration and memory complaints
  • Irritability or other personality changes
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Psychological adjustment problems and depression
  • Disorders of taste and smell
Your doctor will evaluate your child’s signs and symptoms, review his/her medical history and conduct a neurological examination. Signs and symptoms of a concussion may not appear until hours or days after the injury.

 Tests your doctor may perform or recommend include:

Neurological examination

After your pediatrician asks detailed questions about your child’s injury, he or she may perform a neurological examination. This evaluation includes checking his/her:

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Strength and sensation
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Reflexes

Cognitive testing

Your doctor may conduct several tests to evaluate your child’s cognitive or thinking skills during a neurological examination. Testing may evaluate several factors, including his/her:

  • Memory
  • Concentration
  • Ability to recall information

Imaging tests

Brain imaging tests may be recommended for children with symptoms such as severe headaches, seizures, repeated vomiting or symptoms that are progressively becoming worse. Brain imaging may determine whether the injury is severe and has caused bleeding or swelling in your child’s skull.

A CT scan is the standard test to assess the brain right after injury. A CT scan uses a series of X-rays to obtain cross-sectional images of your child’s skull and brain.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to view bleeding in your child’s brain or diagnose complications which may occur after a concussion.

An MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of your child’s brain.


Your child may need to be hospitalized overnight for observation after a concussion.

If your doctor agrees that your child may be observed at home, you should stay with and check on your child for at least 24 hours to ensure the symptoms aren’t worsening. You may be told to awaken your child to make sure he/she wakes normally.

Rest is the most beneficial way to allow your child’s brain to recover from a concussion. The pediatrician will recommend that your child physically and mentally rest to recover from a concussion. This means avoiding general physical exertion, including sports or any vigorous activities, until your child exhibits no symptoms.

 This rest also includes limiting activities that require thinking and mental concentration. Examples of this may be playing video games, watching TV, schoolwork, reading, texting or using a computer.

The doctor may recommend that your child have a shortened school day, take breaks during the day or have reduced school workloads or work assignments as he recovers from a concussion.

The most important treatment for concussions includes prevention. Some tips that may help minimize the risk of head injury include:

  • Wearing protective gear during sports and other recreational activities. Using the appropriate protective gear for all sports your child participates in will help minimize risks. Make sure the equipment fits properly, is well-maintained and is worn correctly. Teach your child to follow the rules of the game and practice good sportsmanship. When your child is bicycling, motorcycling, snowboarding or engaging in any recreational activity that may result in head injury, he/she should wear protective headgear.
  • Buckling your child’s seat belt. Wearing a seat belt may prevent serious injury, including an injury to your child’s head, during a traffic accident.
  • Making your home safe. Keep your home well-lit and your floors free of anything that might cause your child to trip and fall. Falls around the home are a leading cause of head injury.
  • Protecting your children. To help lessen the risk of head injuries to your children, block off stairways and install window guards.
  • Exercising regularly. Staying active will help to strengthen your child’s leg muscles and improve his/her balance.
  • Educating others about concussions. Educating coaches, athletes, parents and others about the symptoms of a concussion, how to evaluate a concussion and how to determine when it’s appropriate to return to play or school can help spread awareness and knowledge about concussions.

Additional Childhood Injuries

At Swift Creek Pediatrics, we want our parents to be fully educated on prevention tips for other childhood injuries. As your child ages, he/she becomes susceptible to different types of injury. Starting as soon as you leave the hospital with your baby, car seat safety is immediately discussed. Before you know it, it will be time to turn the car seat around and face forward, then move to a booster. Planning in advance will help you be ready for these childhood moments so you can enjoy them as safely as possible.

Believe it or not, one day you will give car keys to your 16- or 17-year-old. Swift Creek Pediatrics encourages parents to get the facts on teen drivers so that you can make the best decisions for your teenager. One of the most important safety features for your teen driver’s benefit is YOU: please start with ensuring your child receives the appropriate education in both driver education class and behind-the-wheel training.

Care With Your Child in Mind