My 14 month old fell and bit his tongue all the way through! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This morning my ds who is 14 months old fell trying to climb up onto the kitchen chair and the chair fell on top of him. He bit his tongue all the way through plus bit a large gash in it. It's horrible. Very, very bad. When I called the Ped. the nurse said that they don't usually stitch tongues since they heal up fairly nicely on their own. I called back again though because it it was still bleeding and looked so horrible. I've never seen anything like it. We took him in and the Ped. recommended we take him to Children's hospital. They wanted to stitch him up and even called in the plastic surgeon because they felt like he should do it. We had been there for hours already and they said it would be an hour and a half wait for the plastic surgeon.

I was told by a friend that something similar happened to her son and they just let it heal on its own and it was fine (similar bite), and then the nurse had originally said that even if they bite all the way through they will not usually do stitches.

When they told us that they would have to strap him down to a board to do the stitches, we left the hospital.

My dh called the hospital when we got home to let them know that we left and they put him on the phone with the doctor. He said that there's a 50/50 chance that it will heal great. Worse case is that it might have a divet or something like that and not look completely normal. He said it was our call and to think about it and call him back and let him know what our decision was.

So, we're going to let it heal on its own. Our poor baby has been through so much today. There was no way and I mean NO WAY they were strapping my baby to a board for something that isn't life threatening.

How do we help his healing process? Anyone been here before?
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#2 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 01:42 AM
 
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no advice just

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#3 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 01:48 AM
 
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I've had at least three similar injuries among my four kids. Just remember in the upcoming days that acidic and salty foods will hurt. Popsicles are good! Homeopathic arnica (pellets) will help with the swelling.
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#4 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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Wow that is horrible. When my sister was two she fell and put her top teeth right through her bottom lip and had to get stitches. Your poor baby. That said, I wouldn't have just up and left the hospital without letting them know, you could always have signed him out AMA. And yes, strapping little kids down is generally the only way to get them still enough for certain procedures, I could certainly see stitching a tongue needing that to be done. Traumatic for sure, but I'm sure in the long run he would have been fine. I would call your ped in the morning for advice about the healing process.

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#5 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 03:20 AM
 
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Couldn't they have just put him out for a little while while they stitched it up?!

It's complicated.
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#6 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 04:25 AM
 
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OMGosh! Poor kiddo... ouch! I hope it heals quickly! How will it be with eating the next few days? can't imagine *I* would want to after that...

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#7 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 11:35 AM
 
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Couldn't they have just put him out for a little while while they stitched it up?!
In the US they generally don't use anesthesia (other than local) for 'minor' injuries. I was shocked to see a documentary in the UK where they knock kids out for everything, it never occurred to me that doctors would do that. Much more humane imo. In the US kids have to suck up a lot of pain and fear for medical treatment imo (then again they are expose to fewer chemicals and suffer fewer side effects, but still, as a momma I would want anesthesia).

To the PP, there but for the grace of God go we. This is my worst fear as DD is about as graceful as a land bound hippo (she takes after her momma ). We've already had a fat lip. I just pray she makes it through toddling without any more serious injury.

Hope your LO feels better soon.

V

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#8 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 01:07 PM
 
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Poor baby!! I worked in a daycare when I was younger and a little girl about the same age did the same thing. When she stuck out her tongue you could see through the hole. After it happened she didn't even seem bothered by it. I was absolutely amazed at how quickly it healed. I can't remember now how long it was since that was about 13 years ago, but I remember being surprised by the short healing time.

I hope his tongue heals well and quickly!
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#9 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank for the replies.
He is doing so incredibly well this morning I can't get over it! Of course we've been doing a lot of praying for him.

We asked about the option of putting him out but they said they don't generally do that because of the risk. They would also have to put an IV in him.

I realize that strapping them to a board is the only way to keep them from moving and that sometimes it absolutely *must* be done. But I am not keen on it in the least and it would have to be absolutely called for. I've been told that the tongue heals incredibly fast and usually heals up beautifully.

We just "up and left" because my son was screaming his head off and was completely inconsolable. This caused his tongue to start bleeding heavily and no one would help us. The nurses at the station just looked at us. There was nothing that could be done until the surgeon arrived and we were told it would be yet another hour and a half wait. We were in tears, stressed, adrenalin pumping, and our poor son almost delerious because he was so upset. And to think we had to put him through another hour and a half of that and THEN strap him to a board? I don't think so. They were so understanding on the phone and completely undrerstood. They didn't have any problem with it. Our baby just needed to get out of there. Once in the car he fell asleep, and his bleeding stopped.

His tongue looks nasty but he's able to eat today and drink and he's playing and seems just fine! Kids are amazing! We were told what to feed him (soft and fairly bland foods for about a week).

We know he's going to be just fine and that we made the right decision. Thanks also for the homeopathic remedy for the swelling!
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#10 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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well, I'll just give you the bit of advice I got when my DS bit through his lower lip at 15 mos - which was soft food for 72 hrs and no crumbs for a week; to keep anything from getting into the cut and having the cut heal over food & get infected. We just went back to baby food for a couple days; which the doc said we could do if he'd eat it, or else applesauce and yogurt .... we gave him that too but a couple jars of baby food each day as well, to try to give him a more ballanced diet...

He very much stressed the no crumbs part (so no crackers, cookies, etc ).... *just reread your last post and I see you were given similiar advice)

We were given antibiotics for a week too; I know that one's more controversial but I chose to follow it in this case..... your mouth is one place that's typically full of bacteria; also that's an age where it's hard to keep dirty stuff out of their mouth 100%. So, while I'm not in favor of antibiotics all the time, in this one I think it was warranted.


He healed up just fine too; not even a scar which surprised me.

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#11 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 03:49 PM
 
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We asked about the option of putting him out but they said they don't generally do that because of the risk.
It's funny how they say this, and then turn around and say the exact opposite. The truth is anesthesia in a healthy child is VERY safe. Definitely outweighs the harm of forcing them to just deal with the pain.

I hope it heals well. Maybe if it looks like it's healing awkwardly, get a 2nd opinion and just demand anesthesia? My mom did something not as severe when she was a child and she has a flap on her tongue, it's pretty weird but doesn't bother her...

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#12 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's funny how they say this, and then turn around and say the exact opposite. The truth is anesthesia in a healthy child is VERY safe. Definitely outweighs the harm of forcing them to just deal with the pain.

I hope it heals well. Maybe if it looks like it's healing awkwardly, get a 2nd opinion and just demand anesthesia? My mom did something not as severe when she was a child and she has a flap on her tongue, it's pretty weird but doesn't bother her...
If we would have followed through with the stiches, we were definitely considering just demanding the anesthesia and probably would have.

azmomtoone - We bought some baby food this morning. We need to do whatever we can to keep good nutrition in him. I grinded some oatmeal super fine this morning and he absolutely loved that. About the antibiotics, my dh asked the doctor on from Children's hospital on the phone last night about that and he said that because the tongue has such an enormous blood supply, he wasn't worried about that at all. We'll still keep a close eye on it though and if abx are necssary, we have no problem with that.
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#13 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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As long as he didn't bite any off, it will be fine... kind of like a tongue piercing. It will hurt for a while, but no long term damage should be done. I would give him breastmilk popsicles as often as he wants (if you breastfeed). Poor baby

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#14 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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Hmmm... this has not been my experience. I've worked as an ER nurse for the last 4 years, and we often sedate children for this type of minor repair. In fact, I cannot IMAGINE trying to stitch a tongue without sedation -- there's only so much that physical restraint can do, and you certainly wouldn't be able to keep a kid from screaming his head off!

We use ketamine, a wonderful drug (and one sometimes abused by an older crowd...) -- it's an amnesiac, so there's no traumatic memory of the whole experience. Another option, depending on the age of the child, is nitrous oxide. Both very safe.

I'm so sorry you've been through this, OP -- best wishes for a speedy recovery for your son!

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In the US they generally don't use anesthesia (other than local) for 'minor' injuries. I was shocked to see a documentary in the UK where they knock kids out for everything, it never occurred to me that doctors would do that. Much more humane imo. In the US kids have to suck up a lot of pain and fear for medical treatment imo (then again they are expose to fewer chemicals and suffer fewer side effects, but still, as a momma I would want anesthesia).

To the PP, there but for the grace of God go we. This is my worst fear as DD is about as graceful as a land bound hippo (she takes after her momma ). We've already had a fat lip. I just pray she makes it through toddling without any more serious injury.

Hope your LO feels better soon.

V
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#15 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 04:32 PM
 
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breastmilk popsicles are a great idea too! The cold would probably feel good on his tongue, poor guy!

that's why we did the babyfood too, seemed healthier than just yogurt and applesauce ..... if the doc says no abx I wouldn't do it either! but ours recommended it. Less blood flow in the lip than the tongue? Or maybe just more cautious doc? Either way, that's what they're there for right?

Give him some extra big hugs today!:

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#16 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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Glad to hear he's doing well today!

♥ SAHM to my 5 kiddos ♥
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#17 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 05:16 PM
 
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My son bit right through his tongue when he was 8, it was one of the most awful things ever. They said that the cut has to extend at least 1/2 way through the width of the tongue for stitches and his tongue was only 1/3 severed. We got a cream to put on the split that helped it heal quickly and he lived on high calorie Boost for a week or so. It healed well and there is no scar or sign that the injury every occurred.

Good luck, I hope he heals quickly.
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#18 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! It's so comforting to read your comments.

esmejoy - I wish this children's hospital were like that! It's one of the highest rated too (in the area I guess anyway). They distinctly told me that they generally do not put them under but instead will use a local, and strap them to the board. Seems so cruel to me.

Our biggest concern is the large gash/slice area, not the fact that he bit all the way through. We're concerned that as it heals, it will stay raised up like a flap and not adhere to the rest of the tongue and heal correctly. I plan on following up with the Ped. on Monday. If it heals weird, I wonder if we could correct when he's a bit older?

He has been his normal self today! I haven't even had to give him any Tylenol for the pain. He hasn't fussed a bit. I thought for sure that today it would be the most sore. Kids are so resiliant!
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#19 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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Glad to hear he is getting better.
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#20 of 31 Old 11-14-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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i hope you & your family have a relaxing and uneventful weekend....speedy healing!: you are so right kids are so resilient!!

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#21 of 31 Old 11-15-2008, 02:08 AM
 
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my little bro did the same exact thing. He was a bit older i think he was 3 or so. We didnt do anything and within a week it was heeledish haha I mean it was closed up and all you could see was a little dark spot where the big hole was through his tongue. I just remember being amazed cause it was so gross. He cried a bit when it happened but said it didnt really hurt later on I mean throuh healing.
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#22 of 31 Old 11-15-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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Yikes, poor babe! Hugs to you mama, no fun at all.
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#23 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 01:45 PM
 
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Wel, I will just add I was one of those kids that DID get stiches in my tongue. I was held down by all the staff they coud gather- I had a big metal thing in my mouth holding it open and my tongue out. They could not sedate or give any numbing. They said there was no time due to the bleeding. To tell you the truth I remember the injury happening and afterwards but don't even remember being in the emergency room.
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#24 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 05:35 PM
 
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My first thought was how is he nursing like that? Can he latch? Ouch! Poor guy!

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#25 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My first thought was how is he nursing like that? Can he latch? Ouch! Poor guy!
He self weaned just recently and went straight to a sippie cup (much to my sadness), so we don't have to worry about that. He is doing so well I can't believe it. He's eating great, drinking great, and acting like his normal self. We haven't had to give him any pain killer at all, even the day after! He hasn't fussed about it at all. It's healing quickly! We're so glad we made the decision that we did. My dh continues to say that he has a complete peace about our decision and is glad we trusted our instincts. I jump every time he falls or runs into something though. My nerves are still a little shot!
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#26 of 31 Old 11-16-2008, 10:11 PM
 
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Oh OK. That is probably actually good then, I imagine it would be hard to do! My DD recently split the skin between her lip and her gums (it was REALLY attached) when she fell face first into the table and she had trouble latching for a bit.

Anyway, glad he is doing so well, that is great!

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#27 of 31 Old 12-03-2008, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to send an update. I hope this never happens to any of your children, but this information might be helpful if it ever does!

His tongue has healed beautifully! I am amazed! I am SO GLAD that we didn't put him through that trauma.

I have a friend who knows a Ped. from the children's hospital that we went to and she said that she's only attended one tongue stitching and she never wants to do it again. He was a little guy (like my 15 month old) and he was strapped to the "papoose board". She had to hold his tongue while the surgeon stitched. She said, with tears in her eyes, that it was horrible and unecessary for him to be strapped to the board but that was their policy. She continued on about how the tongue heals so well on its own in almost all cases and anything that might not heal correctly can be easily fixed later.

His tongue looks back to normal though with just a tiny part that is still healing and looks better every day.

Doctors do not know everything and I'm so glad we trusted our instincts.
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#28 of 31 Old 12-03-2008, 06:17 PM
 
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: Glad to hear he's doing well!

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#29 of 31 Old 12-03-2008, 06:22 PM
 
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Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#30 of 31 Old 12-03-2008, 06:43 PM
 
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Wow! Oh I feel so bad that this happened to your little guy but I am so glad that he is doing better.
Good call on leaving (well I say that because its what I would have done ).

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