Mild head injury - Care at home for children 5 years and under (1064)

Key points below

Care for children 5 years and younger at home Your child has been seen for a head injury. Most children fall and hit their head at some time when they are young. Most children with a mild head injury will get better quickly. Based on your child's exam, you can go home and watch for any of these changes at home. Call your doctor or go to the Emergency Room if you see any of these changes within 2 to 3 days after the head injury: Extremely drowsy or fussy (in infants). Your child may be sleepy and tired after a head injury. However, you should be able to wake your child as you would normally from a deep sleep. Your child may be a little more fussy than normal but should still be able to be comforted by you. Vomiting that does not stop. Your child may vomit one or two times after a head injury. However, the vomiting should not continue or start again later. Do not give your child anything to eat for about 2 hours after a head injury. After 2 hours, start by giving your child sips of liquids such as water, soda, Kool-Aid® or Popsicles®. If there is no vomiting after these liquids, your child may try small amounts of regular foods. A child under one year of age can have Pedialyte®. Unsteady balance or movement. Watch your child sit, walk and move. Be sure that your child moves equally on the right side and the left side of their body. Headache that gets worse. Your child may have a headache after a head injury. The headache should not get worse. Vision changes. This may include double vision or having a hard time focusing. Confusion, disorientation. Child does not know who or where they are, or other changes in behavior. Seizures or convulsions. If your child has a seizure, do not panic. Lay your child on their side so they cannot fall and can breathe freely. Call your child's doctor or go to the Emergency Department right away. ALERT: Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information. This sheet was created to help you care for your child or family member. It does not take the place of medical care. Talk with your healthcare provider for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.