Child Head Injury

A head injury may seem innocuous at first—a little slip and a bump to the head—but it could be far more dangerous. If a child loses consciousness after a head injury, then he or she has had a “concussion,” which may be serious because it means there has been a temporary loss in brain function. Some people with concussions do not lose consciousness, and brain injuries can occur without a loss of consciousness.

Severe head injuries can involve bruising, fracture, swelling, internal bleeding or a blood clot.

Seek emergency medical assistance if the child:

  • Exhibits any of the danger signs listed for adults.
  • Won’t stop crying.
  • Can’t be consoled.
  • Refuses to eat or nurse.
  • In infants, exhibits bulging in the soft spot on the front of the head.
  • Shows any sign of skull trauma or obvious abnormality of the skull, such as bruising on the scalp or a depressed area at the location of the injury.

Parents and caretakeers should note that vomiting is more common in young children, and they should only seek medical attention for a suspected head injury if a child vomits repeatedly in a brief period of time (e.g., more than once or twice within an hour) after a head injury.

Read more about Pediatric Emergency Care

Anyone who thinks they're having a medical emergency should not hesitate to seek care. Federal law ensures that anyone who comes to the emergency department is treated and stabilized, and that their insurance provides coverage based on symptoms, not a final diagnosis. 

Read more about Know When to Go

Accidents & Injury Know When to Go Pediatric Emergency Care