Every child strikes his head at some time or other. These injuries are part of growing up. They are usually not serious. The danger signs that indicate that a head injury may be serious are listed below. How the child is acting is more important than a skull x-ray since we are interested in the brain, not the brain’s covering.
- If there is no break in the skin, just swelling at the site of the injury, apply cold compresses for 15-20 minutes.
- If bleeding is present, apply pressure with clean sterile gauze to stop bleeding.
If the child is playing normally in a few minutes after the injury, this is a good sign that the injury was probably not serious. However, the child should still be carefully observed.
Call the office if…
- There is loss of consciousness at the time of the injury or at any time thereafter.
- You are unable to arouse the child from sleep. You may allow the child to sleep after the injury but check frequently to make sure that you can arouse. Check at least every one to two hours during the day and two to three times during the night.
- There is persistent vomiting. (Many children vomit immediately from fright, but the vomiting does not persist).
- Inability to move a limb.
- Oozing of blood or watery fluid from the ears or nose.
- Persistent dizziness for one hour after injury.
- Persistent headache lasting over one hour.
- Severe headache with activity or that wakes from sleep.
- Pale color that does not return to normal in a short time.
- The swelling on the head continues to increase in size and /or becomes a large soft lump.
- Continued bleeding for 10 minutes.
- The child has a convulsion or fainting episode.