HEAD INJURY, No Wake-Up (Child)

Head Injury [Child: No Wake-Up]

Your child has had a mild head injury. It does not appear serious at this time. Sometimes symptoms of a more serious problem (bruising or bleeding in the brain) may appear later. Therefore, during the next 24 hours watch for the WARNING SIGNS listed below.

Home Care:

  1. During the next 24 hours someone must stay with your child to check for the signs below. It is okay to let your child sleep when tired. It is not necessary to keep him awake or wake him up during the night.

  2. If there is swelling of the face or scalp, apply an ice pack (ice cubes in a plastic bag, wrapped in a towel) for 20 minutes every 1-2 hours until the swelling starts to go down.

  3. Do not use aspirin or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) after a head injury. You may use acetaminophen (Tylenol) to control pain, unless another pain medicine was prescribed. [NOTE: If your child has chronic liver or kidney disease or ever had a stomach ulcer or GI bleeding, talk with your doctor before using these medicines.] 

  4. For the next 24 hours:

    • Do not give medicines that might make your child sleepy.

    • No strenuous activities. No lifting or straining.

  5. If your child has had any symptoms of a concussion today (nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, headache, memory loss or was knocked out), do not return to sports or any activity that could result in another head injury until all symptoms are gone and your child has been cleared by your doctor. A second head injury before fully recovering from the first one can lead to serious brain injury.

Follow Up

with your doctor if symptoms are not improving after 24 hours, or as directed.

[NOTE: A radiologist will review any X-rays or CT scans that were taken. We will notify you of any new findings that may affect your child's care.]

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occur:

  • Repeated vomiting

  • Severe or worsening headache or dizziness

  • Unusual drowsiness, or unable to awaken as usual

  • Confusion or change in behavior or speech, memory loss, blurred vision

  • Convulsion (seizure)

  • Increasing scalp or face swelling

  • Redness, warmth or pus from the swollen area

  • Fluid drainage or bleeding from the nose or ears