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Archive for January, 2014

Concussions in Infants & Toddlers: Sung to the tune of “Five Little Monkeys Jumpin’ on the Bed”

By Jack Maypole, MD
Contributing Writer and Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member

Gravity sucks (well, actually, it pulls). If you are an infant or toddler, The Goddard Schoolanyway, it remains one of the greatest challenges you face. One does not need to be a phrenologist to know that the noggins of our littlest children get bumpy as they are knocked and bonked with zillions of pratfalls and tumbles each day. The question is: when is it serious? When should these kids be seen by a doctor?

To truly gain insight into this phenomenon, let us turn to the celebrated case study of the “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”

To the less initiated, this case presented as follows. Five infant and toddler primates were performing gymnastics in a bedroom. In succession, each individual was observed to fall, striking some aspect of his or her brainpan.

Their parents wisely and serially put the question to the on-call clinician: how will I know if my child has a concussion?

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One four-year-old fell off and bumped his head
Momma called the doctor and the doctor said:
“Look at the bump: is it bleeding, swollen or red?
As for the kiddo, check STAT for these signs
(as a pediatrician and dad who’s done this a few hundred times):
Most worrisome is a child who is unconscious or seizes
Or who oozes blood or fluid from their nose, mouth or earses.
If that happens, it suggests urgency,
Call 911, or get the to a room of Emergency…
Or — think right away, did he cry right after?
Was he quickly recovering with grinning and laughter?
That’d be reassuring, to see a smiling squirt-
Headbonked, perhaps, but likely not badly hurt.
There are some things in which you can trust,
That’ll manifest sooner or later, in a littlun concussed.
But then four little monkeys were jumping on the bed,
The 3-year-old fell off and bumped her head. Papa called the NP and she said:
“Cried right away! Good, she’s awake, and again busy?
Ask her if she feels a headache, pukey, or dizzy.
She might feel funky, get crabby, or throw up in your flowers.
These symptoms usually show up in the first six to eight hours.
For toddlers and up a mild headache or single throw-up can be par for the course;
I’d consider a callback to the doc if you think it gets worse.
These could herald a mild brain injury, or concussion;
To the ER or clinic you’d best go, to have that discussion.
And soon three little monkeys were jumping on the bed,
Then the 2-year-old fell off and bumped her head. Zen-like, Momma called the on-call doc and he said:
“Thanks for calling, now ask me your questions.
I’ll ponder the story, and make some suggestions.
Can she sleep? Sure. That the concussed can’t is a myth. (Lethargy is the concern, and is hard to miss!)
Might she be crabby? Somewhat is okay,
but unceasing crankiness get check’d, forthwith!
Most kids should respond to “supportive care”-
Hugs, chilling out and Motrin work there.
And, on cue, two little monkeys were left on the bed,
and the yearling old rolled off and bumped his head.
Papa called the clinic and the care provider said:
“For these kids who cannot talk yet,
Our approach is as much doctor as it is vet.
Fortunately, we consider lower risk for the kids with lesser falls,
Like sliding off a couch, stumbling over their feet, or careening off walls.
These tend to be a bit more tame;
(though we take ’em all seriously in the head injury game!)
But folks should check ’em out, just the same.
And for all kids who fell farther, or with a ’worse mechanism of injury’
Like a car crash or sledding accident when do you worry?
We’re extra cautious for them, as for babies of six months or less.
Consulting a doc for all these may be best.
And do a headcheck as a part of routine:
Kids with scalp dents or babies with big bumps may need to be seen.
Ditto for headaches, copious vomiting, or confusion;
Your clinic’s contact info might need using!
And then there was a six-month-old monkey snoozing on the bed
While stirring, she slipped, and down to earth she sped.
Momma called the doctor and then Momma said:
“I have successfully prevented an injury to her head!
Carseats, bike helmets, and childproofing our homes
Will lower the rate of bonks to lil monkey’s dome.
Not leaving babies unattended up on high places,
Closing my windows against where they press faces,
Are steps on the road to safety, a trip I’m starting,
To avert the dangers of head injury, as research is imparting…
Concussions happen, and can be treated, ’nuff said.
Oh, and there’d best be no more monkeys jumpin’ on the bed!

Teach. Play. Learn.: Inspiring Young Minds for the 21st Century

“In order to thrive in today’s world, children need to be equipped with 21st century skills. P21 applauds The Goddard School’s focus on developing these skills early so that students can be successful in and out of school.” – Helen Soule, Executive Director of P21

From January 13 through February 15, 2014, Goddard School preschools across the country are celebrating 21ST century learning and innovation! The Goddard School has partnered with TINKERTOY®, an organization that manufactures educational STEM-focused toys for children three and older, for our national Teach. Play. Learn. event. Stop by your nearest Goddard School to imagine, create and build with your children and see 21st century learning skills in action!

Click here for more event information and to locate and contact a participating Goddard School near you for event dates and times. And, as part of our partnership with TINKERTOY, families and friends of The Goddard School can enjoy a 20% discount at knex.com now through March 31, 2014 with coupon code goddard20.

Creatively Boost Confidence

Children need support and guidance to build and maintain a positive sense of self.  As parents, we can facilitate this by helping them craft personal About Me collages that depict positive images and words that resonate with them.The Goddard School

To craft an About Me collage, you will need the following materials:

  • A workspace with enough room to spread out and work
  • A piece of cardstock or poster board, 8 ½ inches by 11 inches or larger
  • A pair of child-safe scissors (parents can also help with any cutting)
  • Craft glue or a glue stick
  • Magazines
  • Copies of photos of your children

Help your children find images and positive words in magazines that describe them in a positive light. If your children are artistic, you might cut out an image of an easel or a famous artist they like. If your children are expressive, you could cut out images of a microphone or actors in a play. If your children are funny, you could cut out images of silly faces or funny words. Help your children use their imaginations to craft a one-of-a-kind collage they can hang in their bedrooms and see every day. You can work on this fun, confidence-building project with your children periodically over the years so you can look back and see how each child’s self-image has changed.