Head injury observation guidance for parents and guardians
Following a head injury, you should keep your child under adult supervision for the next 24 hours. If any concerns arise that he/she is developing a problem, please seek medical advice.
The signs that you should look out for are:
- Loss of consciousness.
- If your child becomes unusually sleepy or is hard to wake up.
- Persistent headache.
- Repeated vomiting.
- Weakness of arms or legs e.g. unable to hold things.
- Visionary issues e.g. blurred vision.
- Difficulty walking, clumsiness and uncoordinated movement.
- Confusion e.g not knowing where he/she is, getting things muddled up.
- Fluid or blood coming from the ear or nose.
- Fits (convulsions or seizures).
- Any other abnormal behaviour.
Your child should be allowed to sleep as normal. We would encourage you to arrange to observe him/her on a couple of occasions overnight to check:
- Does he/she appear to be breathing normally?
- Is he/she sleeping in a normal posture?
- Does he/she make the expected response when you rouse him/her gently? E.g. pulling up sheets, cuddling teddy-bear.
- If you cannot satisfy yourself that your child is sleeping normally he/she should be awakened fully to be checked.
If you are concerned about any of the above or have any other worries please seek medical advice promptly.
Following a head injury it is common for the following symptoms to present themselves in the following weeks:
- Mood swings
- Concentration problems
- Behavioural changes.
Talk to your child’s doctor if you are worried about any of these signs.