There are two types of head injuries, external head injuries and internal head injuries. Each type requires a different response.
Things You Will Need
Ice pack or cold pack
External head injuries involve the scalp. Because there are so many blood vessels in the scalp, these types of injuries tend to bleed heavily. Theys can also result in "goose egg" bumps. If the individual has not lost consciousness, is alert and behaving normally respond with first aid. Apply an ice pack or cold compress for 20 minutes.
Observe for signs of internal head injury (below) for 24 hours. The individual can sleep but if they are hard to wake up, do not wake up, their coloring is "bad", breathing pattern is disturbed or their limbs are twitching seek immediate medical attention.
If there is something about their behavior or appearance that makes you uncomfortable, seek medical attention.
Always seek medical attention for any head injury to an infant.
Call 911 for serious injuries. Internal head injuries are injuries involving fractured skulls, torn blood vessels and damage to the brain and can be deadly.
Signs of serious head injury may or may not be obvious. Don't assume there is none if it's not obvious. Assume there is one.
Don't move the individual, there may be a neck or spinal injury.
If they are vomiting, stabilize the neck and turn their body onto their left side (DO NOT just move the head).
If CPR is necessary, and you are trained, respond appropriately.
If the person is unconscious, apply an ice pack to swelling, a sterile bandage to bleeding (DO NOT apply pressure) and monitor breathing.
When emergency personnel arrive, describe what happened if you witnessed it.
Call 911 if any of the following occur:
neck stiffness or pain
being dizzy, dazed or lightheaded
memory loss, for events immediately before and after head injury
nausea or vomiting
sensitivity to light
difficulty with walking, balance or coordination
slurred speech or doesn't make sense
is exhausted, irritable or anxious for no reason
Keep the individual as still and as calm as possible.
Apply a sterile bandage but don't apply pressure.
Don't clean any wounds (this can cause more damage), don't remove objects from wound or head.
Observe the individual and report all observations to medical personnel.
It's important for all individuals involved to remain calm while dealing with a head injury.
Tips & Warnings
Once a concussion occurs, if another one occurs before the initial one heals, the recovery time increases drastically. Repeated concussion can lead to permanent brain damage.