Infants are expected to be monitored and treated with the utmost care after birth. Their vital signs and responses to stimuli are reviewed to ensure they are not showing signs of serious physical concerns.
However, an infant may still be at risk of developing bruises around his or her body. Infant bruising symptoms typically occur after birth and in many cases are caused by negligence or a hospital not taking proper care of a child.
Many of the most telltale symptoms can appear literally hours after birth and can often result in serious conditions detrimental to the baby’s development. It can take days for infant bruising symptoms to fade but a serious injury may cause those signs to persist for weeks or even months on end, thus potentially causing long-term health issues.
Noticeable Skin Changes
The most prominent infant bruising symptoms entail the child’s skin as it changes in its appearance. This is due to the blood vessels around the surface of the skin rupturing, causing the blood within the vessels to move into other cells around the ruptured area. This will cause that part of the skin to develop a blue or purple-tinged tone.
These skin changes can appear at just about any spot on the body and are especially visible around the head as the child moves through the birth canal. A slap mark, which is a negative imprint of fingers on a child’s body, is an especially noticeable example.
Minor cases of hemophilia are often found in infants who have suffered from bruises. This is where the body is unable to produce blood clotting compounds needed to control cases of bleeding. This makes it easier for children to suffer from ruptures and harder for bleeding wounds to clot properly. An infant who experiences hemophilia will also have larger and more noticeable bruises all around the body.
The potential for children to recover from hemophilia is strong in most cases as the clotting compounds in the body start to develop over time. This may not be the case for children in families that are genetically predisposed to developing hemophilia.
Swelling on the Head
An infant may experience swelling in the head, or caput succedaneum, after it is born. This is a common condition which typically goes away after a few hours but an infant who has been bruised will continue to experience this swelling well after birth. The compression added upon the head may keep the brain from taking in the blood it requires so it can stay functional.
This is one of the infant bruising symptoms that comes about as the baby is no longer protected by the amniotic fluid within the pregnant mother’s body. The pressure upon the head created by the vaginal wall during the birthing process may cause swelling.
Accumulation of Blood
The skull may develop cephalohematoma, a condition where blood starts to accumulate under the skull. This is noticed through a lump found at the top of one side of the skull. This condition is a concern among infant bruising symptoms but it typically disappears in a few weeks as the body reabsorbs the blood that was lost.
This is an injury caused by outside pressure on the child’s body and is not officially seen as a brain injury. It is often caused by the acts of health care professionals during the child’s birth and while the infant is in a care ward. It may also develop as a result of the pressures and stresses that come from the birthing process.
All infant bruising symptoms in a child have to be treated as soon as possible to prevent further injuries or even long-term damage from developing.
- “Bruising in Infancy: When is it an Emergency?” Pediatric Annals. 39(10).October (2010).
- “Infant bruising may signal later abuse.” Medpage Today. 11 March 2013. Web. 29 July 2015. http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pediatrics/DomesticViolence/377