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First Aid - Bleeding Head
Laceration - Scalp
Laceration - Scalp (After Staples)
Types of Head Injuries
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR SCALP INJURIES|
- Wound Care: If there is a scrape or cut, wash it off with soap and water.Then apply pressure with a sterile gauze for 10 minutes to stop any bleeding.
- Local Cold:
- Apply a cold pack or ice bag wrapped in a wet cloth to any swelling for 20 minutes.
- Reason: Prevent big lumps ("goose eggs"). Also, reduces pain.
- Repeat in 1 hour, then as needed.
- Observation: Observe your child closely during the first 2 hours following the injury.
- Encourage your child to lie down and rest until all symptoms have cleared. (Note: mild headache, mild dizziness and nausea are common)
- Allow your child to sleep if he wants to, but keep him nearby.
- Awaken after 2 hours of sleeping to check the ability to walk and talk.
- Diet: Offer only clear fluids to drink, in case he vomits. Regular diet OK after 2 hours.
- For pain relief, give acetaminophen every 4 hours OR ibuprofen every 6 hours as needed. (See Dosage Table)
- Exception: avoid until 2 hours have passed from injury without any vomiting.
- Never give aspirin to children and teens (Reason: always increases risk of bleeding).
- Special Precautions at Night:
- Mainly, sleep in same room as your child for 2 nights.
- Reason: If a complication occurs, you will recognize it because your child will first develop a severe headache, vomiting, confusion or other change in their behavior.
- Optional: if you are worried, awaken your child once during the night. Check the ability to walk and talk.
- After 48 hours, return to a normal routine.
- Expected Course: Most head impact only causes a scalp injury. The swelling may take a week to resolve. The local headache at the site of impact usually clears in 2 to 3 days.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Pain or crying becomes severe
- Vomiting occurs 2 or more times
- Your child becomes difficult to awaken or confused
- Walking or talking becomes difficult
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 9/15/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.