Does My Child Have A Serious Head Injury?

Does my child have a serious head injury?

Head injuries in children are very common.  Most of these head injuries are minor and other than some minor discomfort, shouldn't cause any lasting effects.

 

Symptoms of minor head injuries in children

 
  • No bruise, or bruise on back or front of head
  • After a few tears, your child quickly returns to playing and acting normally
  • No vomiting or prolonged headache
  • Head injuries caused by common falls or walking/running into solid objects
     
 

Concussions can be serious and should be evaluated by a health care professional. Symptoms of concussion in a child include headache, memory loss, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, disorientation, and/or repeating words or phrases.
— BY COREY FISH, MD FAAP

 

When to call 911

  • Head injury caused by major trauma, such as major car accidents
  • Child is sleepy and not able to be woken up

Common symptoms of a concussion

  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting of nausea
  • Disoriented:  not sure of details like date, time, place, etc
  • Memory loss
  • Persistent headache
 


 
 

Evaluating your child's injury

Child-Head-Injuries.jpg

Typically, medical professionals will evaluate your child's injury based on the PECARN criteria, pictured below.  If you're worried about your child's head injury and it's not a life threatening emergency, we are happy to help.  Call, schedule on line, or walk in.

 

General head injury advice for children under 2 years of age.

Acting sleepy, irritable, obvious trauma Head bonk somewhere other than forehead, loss of consciousness, fall > 3 feet, "hard hit" Risk of severe injury Where to go?
Yes Yes 4.4% ER
No Yes 0.9% Pediatric Urgent Care
No No <0.02% Pediatric Urgent Care vs Observe at home
 

General head injury advice for children over 2 years of age.

Acting sleepy, irritable, obvious trauma Head bonk somewhere other than forehead, loss of consciousness, fall > 5 feet, "hard hit" Risk of severe injury Where to go?
Yes Yes 4.3% ER
No Yes 0.9% Pediatric Urgent Care
No No <0.05% Pediatric Urgent Care vs Observe at home
 
 

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