Head Injuries

Head injuries occur throughout the year in all age groups. Many parents call me to ask about what to watch for after the injury.

 

When a head injury occurs, I will need to know :

1] How the injury happened

2] Whether there was a loss of consciousness?

3] Whether there seem to be any after effects like: loss of alertness, damage to the skin, etc.

Answers to these questions help me decide whether substantial brain injury occurred. Falls from great heights, or from a car or deep puncture wounds are reason for an office exam. If there was a loss of consciousness for 5 minutes or more, or a shorter loss of consciousness followed by persisting headache or vomiting, an exam may be required. When the head injury causes persisting symptoms like : repeated vomiting, severe headache, unequal pupils, unsteady walk, convulsions, personality changes or loss of awareness as to surroundings, an exam is necessary.

You may notice a large “goose egg” on the head within minutes of the injury. THIS IS COMMON AND NOT A SIGN OF A SERIOUS INJURY! Unless this swelling is also accompanied by the warning signs in the preceding paragraph, just relax and let your child rest. You may give Tylenol™ or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) for a potential headache (see dosing charts on Home page).