Head injuries can be frightening, particularly if they happen to your child. There may be a raised bump at the sight of impact, there may be blood. It’s important to assess the situation and decide on the best course of action for the injury that has happened.
Most head injuries are minor and don’t require an ambulance or a visit to your local A&E department. Here’s a brief guide to help you decide.
In most cases you can keep an eye on the injured person at home.
If the injured person is acting and responding normally you DON’T need to visit A&E unless there is the need to close an open wound.
Close monitoring is vital though, because symptoms of concussion from a head injury may not appear immediately.
To care for a head injury at home:
- Hold an icepack to the injury regularly. This helps to bring down any swelling.
- Rest as much as possible. The injured person doesn’t have to stay awake, just be sure to check on them regularly.
- Take paracetamol if they have a headache or any pain. Avoid ibuprofen or aspirin because they could cause the injury to bleed.
- Make sure that the injured person has someone with them during the first 24 hours.
Remember: It is normal to have a slight headache, feeling sick or dazed for up to 2 weeks.
If the injured person shows any of the following symptoms within the first 24 hours of the injury, a visit to A&E is a good idea
- Drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty in waking
- Bleeding or clear fluid from the ears or mouth
- Pupils being slow to react or unequal in size
- Visual problems
- Loss of sensation in arms and legs
- Slurred Speech
- Projectile vomiting.
If the injured person has been knocked out and fails to regain consciousness call 999.
Here’s a handy infographic for you to share too: