Is There a Reason My Child Bruises Often?

Let’s face it—kids will be kids. They run into stuff, they fall down, they scrape their knees and elbows, and then they get up and get right back to doing it all over again. They’re resilient, even if they suffer bumps and bruises along the way.

Although bruises are a part of being a healthy, active child, are there other factors that can contribute to your child ending up with more bruises than normal? In rare cases, there can be, and our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte team further explains below.

What Exactly Is a Bruise?

When your child bumps into something hard enough, the trauma can crush blood vessels under the skin, causing them to pool and form a bruise.

Bruises usually appear red at first, then progress to bluish black, then greenish yellow before healing in about two weeks. Not all bruises are the same, though, as you will learn in the section below.

Types of Bruises

  • Purpura: This is perhaps the most common type of bruise, as it typically involves small bleeding under the skin.
  • Hematoma: This is severe bruising that is often caused by trauma, such as a car accident or major fall. A hematoma is a collection of blood outside the blood vessels that causes pain and swelling.
  • Senile purpura: This type of bruising is more common among older adults. As you age, the skin becomes thinner, dryer and more prone to bruising. This condition is known as senile purpura.
  • Black eye: You’ve likely heard or experienced this type of bruising before. A black eye happens when you’ve been hit in the face, and swelling and bruising causes a discolored ring to form around the eye.

How Much Bruising Is Too Much?

You shouldn’t be too concerned if your child has bumps and bruises—especially if they are on the knees or shins. Knee and shin bruising occurs because kids often bump their lower legs against things as they walk or run. Additionally, younger children often get bruises on their foreheads from falling and bumping their heads.

These are considered normal bruises, but there can be signs that point to your child’s bruising as being abnormal. If your child is experiencing the signs and symptoms that we’ve listed below, visit our AFC center.

Signs and Symptoms of Abnormal Bruising

  • Large bruises that are raised and seem out of proportion to the injury that caused it—i.e. a huge bruise for a small bump
  • Unexplained bruises that occur without any known fall or injury
  • Bruises that last more than a few weeks
  • A family history of bleeding, easy bruising or a bleeding disorder
  • A bloody nose that lasts longer than 10 minutes after proper treatment with direct pressure
  • Bruises in unusual places, like a child’s chest, back, hands, ear, face or buttocks

Does your child need non-emergency medical care? If so, we’re here to help! Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte team today.