We have assessed your child and feel it is safe for you to take them home. When you get them home it is very unlikely that they will have any further problems. We do advise you keep a close eye on your child (or leave them with a responsible adult) for the next 48 hours and do not leave them at home alone.

After a head injury

Your child may not feel completely themselves after a head injury and may be slightly off colour. These feelings may include:

  • Feeling sick (without vomiting)
  • Dizziness
  • Mild headache (especially whilst watching TV and playing on electronic games)
  • Bad temper
  • Problems concentrating with tiredness and difficulty in getting to sleep
  • A lack of appetite

If you feel very concerned about any of these symptoms in the first few days after discharge, you should bring the patient to their doctor. If these problems do not go away after 2 weeks, you should bring the patient to see their doctor.

Looking after your child following a head injury

Expect your child may feel more tired than usual and allow them to sleep if they want to. On the first night you should check that they react normally to their sleep being disturbed every hour for the first few hours and then a couple of times over the first night.

Your child will need to rest and may need some time away from school and physical activities. Do not allow your child to play any sport where there is a risk of another head injury for at least 3 weeks without talking to their GP first. After the head injury your child may have a headache, painkillers such as paracetamol can help alleviate this pain.

For babies, ensure they get plenty of rest and avoid stressful situations. Allow your baby to stick to their normal routine as much as possible as this will make it more obvious if there are any changes in their behaviour. Your baby should be alert and easy to wake from sleep. You can offer milk feeds as normal.

Toddlers should avoid vigorous play and offer a light diet avoiding foods high in sugar such as sweets/chocolate and fizzy drinks.

Children should only back to school/nursery once you feel they have completely recovered from their head injury.

When should I seek medical attention?

If any of the following symptoms do return, we suggest you take them to their nearest hospital Emergency Department as soon as possible:

  • unconsciousness, or lack of full consciousness (for example, problems keeping eyes open)
  • drowsiness (feeling sleepy) that goes on for longer than 1 hour when they would normally be wide awake
  • difficulty waking the patient up
  • problems understanding or speaking
  • loss of balance or problems walking
  • weakness in one or more arms or legs
  • problems with their eyesight
  • painful headache that won’t go away
  • vomiting (being sick)
  • seizures (also known as convulsions or fits)
  • clear fluid coming out of their ear or nose
  • bleeding from one or both ears

Telephone number to call the hospital: 01935 384 355

Long-term problems

Most patients recover quickly from their accident and experience no long-term problems. However, some patients only develop problems after a few weeks or months. If you start to feel that things are not quite right for your child (for example, memory problems, not feeling themselves), then please contact their doctor as soon as possible so that he/she can check to make sure they are recovering properly.

You can find further support and information from the Child Brain Injury Trust:
www.childbraininjurytrust.org.uk
Telephone: 0303 303 2248

Ref: 10-17-118
Review: 03/19