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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Brenner Children’s pediatric emergency department has moved back to its original location. Learn more

In order to help protect patients, family members and health care workers from the spread of COVID-19, no visitors are allowed at any of Wake Forest Baptist Health’s outpatient or inpatient facilities, except in certain situations.
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More COVID-19 Updates

First Aid: Head Injuries

First Aid: Head Injuries

First Aid

Most childhood head injuries are minor and hurt only the outside of the head. On rare occasions, a severe head injury can cause bruising or bleeding in the brain. This type of head injury requires immediate medical attention.

Signs and Symptoms

Of a mild head injury:

Of a potentially serious head injury:

  • unconsciousness or unresponsiveness
  • obvious serious wound
  • blood or clear fluid from the nose or ear
  • changes in behavior, such as sluggishness, agitation, confusion, or excessive sleepiness
  • dizziness or stumbling
  • seizure
  • vomiting more than two or three times or vomiting hours after the injury
  • severe or worsening headache

What to Do

  • Call 911 for any serious head injury. Do not move an unconscious child. If your child is not breathing, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), if you've been trained.
  • Call the doctor right away if an infant has a head injury or a child of any age has neck pain or won't stop crying after a head injury.
  • Allow your child to sleep if he or she is tired.

Think Prevention!

  • Childproof your house.
  • Don't use infant walkers.
  • Make sure kids wear protective gear for contact sports, biking, skating, and skateboarding.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014