Medical Questions > Parenting > Toddlers Forum

Black eyes after forehead injury

A relative's toddler fell and got a bruise on the center of his forehead. He had no symptoms of concussion or other injury, but 3 days later developed two black eyes. According to the American Academy of Pediatric's healthychildren.org website "Bruises on the forehead sometimes cause black eyes 1 to 3 days later. This is caused by blood spreading downward by gravity." His mother called the doctor, who accused her of abuse because supposedly two black eyes are seldom seen after accidental injury according to an NCJRS publication, though this was stated without citation in their publications as far back as 1996. If anyone knows of research supporting or refuting this assertion, I would be very grateful for a citation.

It would seem logical that, given the location of the bruise, both eyes would be equally likely to be affected. Basilar skull fracture was ruled out, and the child has no other injuries. This has been a nightmare for her family.

I would be interested to hear of others whose patients or children have presented with bilateral black eyes after an accidental injury.
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