Head injuries are very common in children. Most head injuries are not serious; however, if your child does have a blow to the head, there are some things to look out for. Complications of head injuries include: concussion, which is a temporary problem with brain function but no actual brain injury; skull fracture; loss of consciousness; headaches, internal bleeding.
Signs to watch for that may indicate a complication of head injury include:
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- New drainage of clear or bloody fluid from the nose or ears
- Persistent headache or dizziness
- Labored breathing
- Difference in pupil size or pupils that do not get smaller when a bright light is shined in them
- Excessive sleepiness or a change in behavior.
Initially after a head injury, if there was no loss of consciousness or seizure, observe your child for 48 hours for any of the above signs, wake very 2 hours. Initially give only clear liquids because vomiting commonly occurs once or twice after a head injury. If there is a cut on the scalp, cleanse it gently. Notify the office if a wound doesn’t stop bleeding after 10-15 minutes of pressure, if you think the wound needs sutures, or if your child has any of the previously mentioned signs.