Head Injury in Children: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Almost all children will bump their heads, especially when they are babies or toddlers and are just learning to roll over, crawl, or walk. While these events may be upsetting, most head injuries in children are minor.

Although it's rare, once in a while a more serious problem shows up after the child is home. So it's good to be on the lookout for symptoms for a day or two.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Follow instructions from your child's doctor. He or she will tell you if you need to watch your child closely for the next 24 hours or longer.
  • Have your child take it easy for the next few days or more if he or she is not feeling well.
  • Ask your doctor when it's okay for your child to go back to activities like riding a bike or playing a sport.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child has a seizure.
  • You child passes out (loses consciousness).
  • Your child is confused or hard to wake up.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has new or worse vomiting.
  • Your child seems less alert.
  • Your child has new weakness or numbness in any part of the body.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.
  • Your child has new symptoms, such as headaches, trouble concentrating, or changes in mood.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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