Head Injury

Accidental head collisions are common in active children.  These events cause a great deal of worry but usually cause little harm.  An impressive area of red or purple swelling frequently results but does not necessarily indicate serious injury.

Following head trauma, many children:

  • Cry immediately, but should become consolable in 5-10 minutes.
  • May vomit at least once.  Do not feed or expect the child to eat for an hour after the injury.  Then try sips of clear liquids. 
  • Might become drowsy, especially if crying was intense or prolonged. Let your child sleep, but awaken every 2 hours for the next 6 hours. 
  • Will complain of headache.  Give acetaminophen and apply ice as needed.

Any child who immediately loses consciousness (passes out) or shows any of the following signs should be seen by a doctor: 

  • Can’t be awakened every two hours.
  • Vomits forcefully more than 2 times.
  • Eyes become crossed or the pupils become unequal in size.
  • Talks funny or seems confused.
  • Has severe headaches.
  • Develops weakness of arms or legs.
  • Experiences a seizure.