What if my baby falls onto a hard surface?
Evaluate the emergency: Wait to scoop her up until you're certain she can use all her extremities, says Dr. McCoy. If she seems okay, pick her up and examine her body and demeanor. If anything appears off, go to the doctor. "It's best to be conservative with a baby who's fallen," says Dr. Baker. A bump on an infant's head definitely needs to be checked -- there could be an underlying crack in the skull or internal bleeding. Look for unusual eye movements, leakage of blood or clear liquid from the ear canal, black eyes, or bruising behind the ears. These require immediate attention by a physician.
Go to the ER: It's an emergency if she loses consciousness, has difficulty waking, or is unable to recognize her surroundings. She should respond normally, reach for you to pick her up, and babble. While it's not unusual to vomit initially from being upset, if it continues it could be a sign of internal bleeding. If she has an open injury, a broken bone, a substantial break in the skin, or prolonged irritability, you should head to the ER.