Some very good information about Head Injuries from our friend Emma at First Aid for Life

Babies and children often bang their heads. This is partly because their heads are disproportionately large but also because they tend not to look where they’re going, are oblivious to risk and are therefore unaware of danger around them.

Head injuries can be frightening. It can be difficult to assess how seriously a child is hurt and what you should do about it. Fortunately, most head injuries are superficial and only involve the scalp. This can be alarming as the head and face are extremely vascular and therefore often bleed profusely, but is rarely life-threatening. A severe blow to the head or repeated injury, however, can cause damage to the brain and it is signs of this that people need to watch out for.

What to look for following a head injury

Call 999 or 112 if a baby or child is injured and they lose consciousness, even momentarily.

Also call 999/112 if they:

• won’t stop crying
• have head/neck pain
• are unable to walk normally

If the child has not lost consciousness, is alert and behaving normally after the head injury:

• Reassure the child and remain calm.
• Control any bleeding with direct pressure using a clean, non-fluffy
• Apply a wrapped ice pack or instant cold pack to the injured area for
10 minutes (this will reduce bruising but has no effect on the severity
of any internal head injury).
• Observe the child carefully for the next 24 hours. If you notice any
worrying signs (see below), get medical help immediately.
• If the incident has occurred close to bedtime or naptime and your
child falls asleep soon afterwards, check in continually to look for
anything unusual.

Worrying signs

• Twitching limbs
• Disturbances in colour
• Disturbance of breathing.

It’s fine for your child to go to sleep, don’t confuse falling asleep with losing consciousness!


First Aid for Life and provide this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made or actions taken based on this information. The best way to be prepared for action in an emergency is to attend a practical first aid course or do one online.

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