Head Injury

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS ONLY A GENERAL GUIDE TO THE MANAGEMENT OF HEAD INJURIES. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONERNS ABOUT THE WAY YOUR CHILD IS ACTING, PLEASE CALL US.

For the first 24 hours, keep your child at home. Observe the child carefully to detect any change in level of alertness. Make sure s/he arouses easily and appears normal. Do not leave your child home unattended. If there is anything different or abnormal in the appearance or actions in your child, call us immediately.

On the second day after the injury, your child may resume normal activities if eating well and not complaining of headaches.

Call us if your child has any of the following:

Excessive Drowsiness: After a head injury, a child may be tired or drowsy. You may let your child sleep for a period of up to 1 or two hours. If the child does not improve after the nap; is hard to arouse; or acts inappropriately, call us.

Persistent Vomiting: It is not uncommon for a child to vomit once or twice following a fall. It is best to keep your child on clear liquids and bland foods for several hours after the trauma. If the vomiting persists, and especially if it is associated with drowsiness or other symptoms (see below), call us.

Unsteady Walking: If your child exhibits a wobbly walk, is unsteady on his/her feet, or does not want to stand for fear of falling, call us.

Weakness on One Side: If your child does not use an arm or leg, or uses it less than the other side, call us.

Decreased Awareness: If your child cannot speak as well as before the injury, or if there is confusion and less awareness, call us.

Persistent Headache: If headache pain persists for more than an hour, despite the administration of Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen; or if it becomes more intense, call us.

Vision Problems: If the pupils are normally equal in size, and one becomes larger than the other; if the pupils do not change in size when exposed to light; or if the child’s vision is burred, call us.

Do not worry about:

Swelling and Bruising: Swelling and bruising may occur at the site of the injury. The size of the swelling does not indicate the seriousness of the injury. If the bruise occurs on the forehead, it is common for “black eyes” to develop over the next 24 hours. Applying ice and light pressure to the swelling will limit its size, if your child will allow it. Swelling with increases after one to two days may need to be seen. Call us if this occurs.