What should you do if your child injured his head? While head injuries will cause a lot of anxiety from the parent and the child, not all are serious.

Head injuries can lead to minor head injuries that hurt on the outside of the head (scalp). Occasionally, head injury can also cause bruising or bleeding in the brain – this type of head injury requires immediate medical attention.

How do you determine the difference between a minor head (skull) injury and a more serious head injury?

Signs and Symptoms of a mild head injury:

  • ​Minor scalp swelling
  • Cut on the scalp
  • Mild headache
  • Bleeding*
*Scalp wounds bleed profusely as the scalp is rich with blood vessels. As with cuts elsewhere, apply pressure with gauze to the wound till bleeding stops.

​First aid for minor head injuries:

  • Hold and comfort your child.
  • Put a cold compress or ice pack on any bumps or bruises.
  • Let your child rest for the next few hours.
  • Watch your child closely for the next 24 hours for any unusual symptoms or behaviour.
  • Seek medical advice immediately if the condition worsens.

Signs and symptoms of a potentially serious head injury:

  • Your child becomes unconscious or unresponsive
  • There is an obvious serious wound
  • Visible blood or clear fluid runs from the nose or ear
  • Changes in your child’s behaviour, such as sluggishness, agitation, confusion, or excessive sleepiness
  • Dizziness or stumbling
  • Seizures
  • Your child vomits more than two or three times, or vomits hours after the injury
  • Your child complains of a severe or worsening headache

What to do about a serious head injury:

Call 995 for an ambulance immediately for any serious head injury. Do not move an unconscious child. If your child is not breathing, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), if you've been trained.

Call the doctor right away if an infant has a head injury or a child of any age has neck pain or won't stop crying after a head injury.