Head Injury in Children and Teens

Head Injury in Children

Children hit their heads frequently. Most of the time, the injury is minor, usually involving only the scalp, and nothing needs to be done. Sometimes, the injury is more serious, involving the skull and/or brain inside, and medical attention is required.

Answering the questions below will help you understand the difference between minor and serious head injuries and will help you decide what to do if your child has a head injury.

Remember, this guide is not meant to take the place of a consultation with your doctor.

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When a child has a head injury, certain symptoms are the most worrisome.

Did your child hit his or her head and have any of the following symptoms?

  • loss of consciousness (was not responding to you or was "knocked out")

  • seizure (convulsion)

  • extreme persistent crying.

Yes, my child had one or more of these symptoms.

No, my child did not have any of these symptoms.

That's good. However, there other symptoms associated with a head injury are still of significant concern and should prompt immediate medical evaluation.

Does your child have any of these symptoms?

  • not acting normally

  • not able to be wakened from sleep

  • confusion

  • severe or worsening headache

  • slurred speech or difficulty speaking

  • blurry or double vision

  • numbness or weakness

  • not walking normally or trouble doing other usual activities.

Yes, my child has one or more of these symptoms.

No, my child does not have any of these symptoms.

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