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Bumped Head

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: 

  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Tiredness
  • Concentration problems
  • Behavioural changes. 

Talk to your child’s doctor if you are worried about any of these signs. 

Bumped Head