Head injuries

Warning Signs

Your own doctor or the hospital should be notified immediately if you have had a head injury and if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Headaches - continuous or sudden change
  • Visual disturbances
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Change of personality
  • Loss of balance
  • Any signs of bleeding from the nose or ears
  • Any neck stiffness
  • Weakness of the arms or legs
  • Dilation of the pupils
  • Seizures
  • Increasing drowsiness and unconsciousness

On returning home after assessment by a doctor, there should be a responsible adult to keep an eye on the patient. The patient should rest quietly. Alcohol and heavy meals should be avoided for a few days. Medical attention should be sought if there is any further cause for concern.

Advice To Parents And Carers Concerning Children

If your child has sustained a head injury, and following a thorough examination, we are satisfied that the injury is not serious, it is expected that your child's recovery will be rapid and complete.

Therefore:

  • Do expect your child to feel miserable and off-colour.
  • Do not force him / her to eat but make sure that your child has enough to drink.
  • Do expect your child to feel more tired than usual. Allow your child to sleep if he or she wants to. Just pop in to see him or her every hour or so. Do not be confused between normal sleep and unconsciousness - someone who is unconscious cannot be woken. You need to be satisfied that your child is reacting normally to you.
  • Do expect your child to have a headache. A painkiller may be given for this. A young child may only show a headache as fretfulness.
  • Do keep your child quiet and resting as much as possible. Keep him or her away from school, discourage active games, excessive TV watching and video games, until the symptoms subside.
  • The symptoms should improve steadily and the child should be back to normal within a few days.
  • Even after a minor head injury complications may occur, but these are rare.

Warning Signs

Contact your General Practitioner (GP) or the trauma unit of a Life Healthcare hospital nearest to you, if the above symptoms worsen or if your child shows signs of the symptoms listed below.

  • Has difficulty in waking from sleep
  • Appears confused or does not understand what is said to him or her
  • Vomits more than twice
  • Complains of a severe headache or trouble with his or her eyesight
  • Cries more than usual or is more difficult than usual to settle
  • Becomes irritable
  • Has any kind of attack which you think is a seizure