Head injuries

At Cradle and Kin, head injuries are a topic we are well and truly familiar with. In fact if head bumps were an olympic sport, our kids would be gold medalists. Whether it be running into walls, ‘flying’ off the couch or tripping over their own feet, kids and head injuries go hand in hand.

Because head injuries are so common in little ones, it’s helpful to have a little knowledge on the subject. So without further adieu, let’s dive head first into the world of head injuries in children.

Severity of head injury

Any kind of bump to the head is considered a head injury. We break head injuries down into categories of severity (mild, moderate or severe). This helps us determine specific assessments and treatment needed for your little one.

If your child has had a head injury you should determine the severity of injury and then manage as such!

While mild head injuries can often be managed at home, moderate or severe head injuries always require assessment by a doctor in the emergency department.

How do I know if my child has had a mild head injury?

Your child has a mild head injury if (following a bump the the head) they tick all of the following boxes:

  • Alert and acting normally
  • They did not lose consciousness at any time
  • They have not vomited
  • They may or may not have a bump, bruise or some minor bleeding
  • They have no other abnormalities

Yep my kid has a mild head injury, now what do i do?

So there are a few things you can do here:

1). Your little one is likely to be pretty upset after bumping their head, we prescribe lots of cuddles!

2). You can try a cool compress to the injury site to help with swelling and discomfort however not all kids will tolerate this. If they are not keen, don’t push it as it could distress them further.

3). Paracetamol can help manage pain or discomfort however DO NOT give ibuprofen to someone who has had a head injury as it is a blood thinner and can worsen bleeding within the brain.

4). If you are concerned at all take your child to a GP or urgent care clinic for assessment.

Important fact: symptoms of a head injuries can take a few days to appear, so it’s super important to keep a close eye on kiddos following a head bump. If signs of a moderate / severe head injury appear, upgrade your care and get your little one to ED urgently.

How do I know if my child has a moderate / severe head injury?

Your child has a moderate/severe head injury if they have any of the following HEAD BUMPS symptoms following a head injury:

In addition to HEAD BUMPS symptoms, if your child has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, if they have lost consciousness, vomited more than once, or fallen from double their height or more you should treat it as a moderate / severe head injury until proven otherwise.

If your little one has any signs of a moderate/severe head injuries you should call 000 for an ambulance or get them to an emergency department for assessment by a doctor urgently.

Do I need to wake my child during the night after a head injury?

We get this question all the time!

The Royal Children Hospital advise you can let your child sleep through the night as normal unless you have been advised otherwise by a doctor. This is because rest is really important for recovery following a head injury.

Of course if you are unable to wake your child at any time you should call 000 for an ambulance immediately. 

If you want to feel prepared for the next time your little one takes a tumble, book into one of our first aid courses today!



Scroll to Top