Head Trauma in Children

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

The disproportionate ratio between the head, body, and legs as well as the undeveloped muscles and inability to control head movement are primary causes for the very common head injury among small kids. Check out this post to know different types of head injuries, preventions as well as what to do when discovering your child has injured their head.

Types of head injuries

−External head injuries: Injuries involving damage to the scalp.
−Internal head injuries: Injuries that affect the skull, the blood vessels within the head and/or the brain.

Victim of a head trauma may suffer from either or both conditions. While external head injuries usually are not dangerous, internal head injuries can lead to death or permanent damage to the brain.

External injuries (Scalp injuries)

If your child has accidentally had his scalp cut, bleeding is unavoidable as there are many blood vessels within the scalp. The heavy bleeding can be accompanied by the leakage of fluids that can make the scalp looks as if it is swollen. It generally takes a few days to a week for this so-called “goose egg” to go away.

First aid for a minor scalp wound:

−Wash away the blood and fluid in the affected area with mild soap and water.
−Using a sterile cloth, apply pressure on the area for about 10 minutes until the bleeding stops or is decreased.
−Apply cold pressure (preferably ice wrapped in a cloth) on the area for 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours to reduce swelling and pain.
It’s important to watch for any sign indicating an underlying health danger of your child for 24 hours after the accident (The signs are listed below). It’s OK for your child to sleep, however, check their breathing once in every few hours to look for any abnormality.

Internal injuries

Any damage involving the skull, the blood vessels within the head and the brain is considered to be a life-threatening condition that requires emergency help. Parents should never attempt to self-treat their child in these situations. Victims of internal head injuries may need to go through resuscitation and surgery.

Call your doctor if

−Your child is below 1 years old
−The wound is wide open
−The bleeding does not stop
−Your child vomits several times
−Your child doesn’t stop crying for more than 10 minutes
−Your child fell from the height from 3 feet (0.9 meters) and above
−Your child experiences headaches, neck pain, blurry vision, double vision or talking/speaking difficulties
−You can’t wake your child up.

Preventions of head injuries in children

-Keep a close eye on kids who are just starting to crawl or stand.
-Make it an obligation for your child to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, skiing, skating or sharing a ride with their friends.
-Replace mats with nonskid mats, especially in the toilet and bath area.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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