Head Injury (children) Advice


Cork Emergency Departments


Common complaints following a head injury are:

  • mild headache
  • being easily annoyed
  • poor concentration
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • poor sleep
  • memory problems
  • difficulty socialising

If these complaints are getting worse or you are concerned about them after two weeks you should see your own doctor.


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Head injury observation instructions for parents and guardians

Following a head injury, your child should be kept under observation for the next 24 hours. If any concern arises that he/she is developing a problem, please seek advice from your GP or this Emergency Department or, if necessary, make arrangements to bring him/her back to hospital by ambulance, taxi or car.

The signs that you should look out for are:

  • Increasing drowsiness or confusion
  • Persisting headache
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness of one or more limbs
  • Difficulty in seeing or breathing
  • Continuous discharge or bleeding from ear, nose or mouth
  • Fits
  • Any other abnormal behaviour

When your child is sleeping, you should observe every few hours to establish:

  • Does he/she appear to be breathing normally?
  • Is he/she sleeping in a normal posture?
  • Does he/she make the expected response when you rouse him/her gently?
    • (e.g. pulling up sheets, cuddling teddy-bear)
  • If you cannot satisfy yourself that your child is sleeping normally, he/she should be wakened fully to be checked.

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Some extra advice for the patient to help you get well:

Following this advice will help your child to recover more quickly, and it may stop some of the symptoms from happening.


If you are concerned, please contact the Emergency Department you first attended: MUH (021) 4271971 M-UCC at SMHC (St. Mary’s Health Campus) (021) 4926900 CUH (021) 4920200 LIU Mallow General Hospital (022) 58506 Bantry General Hospital (027) 52900

Content by Dr Gemma Kelleher 06/07/04. Reviewed by Dr Gemma Kelleher 24/11/2008. Last review Dr. ÍOS 3/05/17.