When you understand HOW and WHY things happen, your actions for treatment and prevention are vastly improved.
If you just want to know WHAT ACTIONS TO TAKE, scroll down.
If you’re in a real hurry, click the Print This Page button and take this information with you.
Head injuries can be so serious and life-threatening that if there is ANY question at all about the seriousness of the injury, STOP READING NOW AND CALL 911. Get an ambulance a.s.a.p.
If no ambulance is required, read on.
- Direct impact to the head
- Indirect shaking or jerking of the head from serious impact to other parts of the body
- Confusion or disorientation
- Spinning sensation
- Loss of balance
- Ringing in the ears
- Abnormal eye movements
- Inability to focus the eyes
- Memory loss
- Sudden changes in mood
- DO NOT GIVE OVER THE COUNTER PAIN MEDS IF YOU THINK THE HEAD INJURY IS SERIOUS. Whether you call and ambulance or take your child to the Emergency Room yourself, doctors may need to assess all symptoms to see what damage might be done. OTC pain meds may mask symptoms. Also, doctors may need to prescribe narcotic pain meds that have OTC components in them such as acetaminophen. You want doctors to be able to give maximum pain meds or any other medication as necessary without concern for overdose of acetaminophen or other OTC.
- Keep head, neck, and jaw as motionless as possible during transport
- DON’T PANIC. Your child’s state of mind depends on you being a cool, calm, and collected parent.
- NEVER SECOND GUESS. If there is ANY question about the seriousness of the injury, have your child assessed by a doctor that has trauma training.
- If you choose not to seek a professional opinion, WATCH CAREFULLY over the next several hours for any of the symptoms listed above to develop. Get your child to a doctor if there are any changes.
- One more time I suggest you get a doctor trained in trauma to assess your child in the event of a head injury and let them advise you whether to treat it as minor or major.