Most head injuries aren’t serious. You don’t usually need to go to hospital and should make a full recovery within 2 weeks.
Go to A&E after a head injury if you or your child have:
- been knocked out but have now woken up
- been vomiting since the injury
- a headache that doesn’t go away with painkillers
- a change in behaviour, like being more irritable
- problems with memory
- been drinking alcohol or taking drugs just before the injury
- a blood clotting disorder (like haemophilia) or take blood-thinners (like warfarin)
- had brain surgery in the past
You or your child could have concussion.
Symptoms usually start within 24 hours but sometimes may not appear for up to 3 weeks.
Call 999 if someone has hit their head and has:
- been knocked out and hasn’t woken up
- difficulty staying awake or keeping their eyes open
- a fit (seizure)
- problems with their vision
- clear fluid coming from their ears or nose
- bleeding from their ears or bruising behind their ears
- numbness or weakness in part of their body
- problems with walking, balance, understanding, speaking or writing
- hit their head in a serious accident, such as a car crash
Also call 999 if you can’t get someone to A&E safely.
How to treat a minor head injury
If you don’t need to go to hospital, you can usually look after yourself or your child at home.
It’s normal to have symptoms such as a slight headache, or feeling sick or dazed, for up to 2 weeks.
To help recovery: