Head Injury in Children: What to Look Out For

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Carrie Tennick, October 25, 2021

Head injury in children can be one of the most worrying things you have to deal with as a parent. We understand how concerned you’ll be after your child hurts their head, knowing the associated risks.

Although head injuries are fairly common in children, they can be serious. Your child may suffer a concussion or a more serious brain injury.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, a head injury is “one of the most common causes of disability and death in children”. This makes it crucial that you carefully monitor your child after a head injury.

If you’re very worried about your child, there are some things to look out for after they’ve hit their head.

What to look out for

Head injuries could be the result of a simple bump – from relatively minor accidents, like walking into a door or while playing.

In these cases, your child might have a scratch or bump on their head. This kind of injury will heal quite quickly.

But if you think your child's head injury was more serious, there are some warning signs that you should look out for.

The NHS advises going to A&E if your child:

  • Has a blood clotting condition – such as haemophilia
  • Has been vomiting since they hit their head
  • Has memory problems
  • Has previously had brain surgery
  • Is showing a change in behaviour – such as being more irritable
  • Is suffering from a headache that painkillers won’t help
  • Was knocked out and then woke up

There are even more serious head injuries that require immediate medical attention, which the NHS advises you to call 999 for.

Signs that you should call 999 include when your child:

  • Has been knocked out and hasn’t woken up
  • Has clear fluid coming from their ears or nose
  • Has had a seizure
  • Has problems walking, balancing, understanding or speaking
  • Is bleeding from their ears or has bruising behind their ears
  • Is experiencing numbness or weakness
  • Is experiencing problems with their vision
  • Is struggling to stay awake or keep their eyes open
  • Was injured in a serious accident – such as a car accident

Head injury advice

The NICE guidelines for a head injury include the recommendation that most adults and children should have a CT scan within eight hours of their head injury.

If you don’t need to visit A&E, you can usually take of your child at home. The NHS advises that if there is swelling to the head, hold an ice pack to it regularly for the first few days. You only need to do this for short periods at a time.

Rest is also important. You won’t need to make sure your child stays awake if they’re tired. But make sure they avoid contact sports for at least three weeks and rough play for a few days.

Avoid aspirin, but give them paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain. And make sure you or another adult is with your child for the first 24 hours after the injury.

Can you make a compensation claim?

If your child’s head injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you could be able to make a compensation claim.

The way your child was injured would decide if you could hold someone responsible. For example, if your child was hurt in a car accident, the driver who caused the accident could be held responsible and you could claim against them.

And if your child suffered a head injury while playing sport, their coach could be responsible if they hadn’t trained the team properly.

If your child was injured at school, this could have been due to the school’s negligence. This could have happened because of a wet floor, faulty play equipment or a lack of supervision during playtime.

You can claim on your child’s behalf. You have until they are 18 to start your claim – you can do so at any point. After their 18th birthday, they then have three years to make a claim for themselves.

If you think you have a claim, get in touch with First4Lawyers. We could help you get the compensation you and your child deserve for what they’ve been through.

Just give us a call, request a call back at a more convenient time or start your claim online.

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