Bumped head protocol
A minor head injury can be a frequent occurrence in the school playground and on the sports field. Fortunately, the majority of head injuries are mild and do not lead to complications or require hospital admission. However, a small number of children do suffer from a severe injury to the brain, and concussion, (in particular repeated concussions), can be very serious.
Complications such as swelling, bruising or bleeding can happen inside the skull or inside the brain up to 24 hours after the bump to the head. The presence or absence of a lump at the site of the bump is not an indication of the severity of the head injury.
If a child has a bump to their head at school, they will be given first aid which will include a cold compress, and the parent/carer will be contacted by phone.
The child will be given a yellow wristband to wear to alert school staff and the parent/carer to the fact the child has had a bump to the head.
The child should avoid any activities such as PE which could lead to another bump.
If any of the following symptoms are noticed over the following 24 hours, further medical advice should be sought urgently, either by calling 999 for an ambulance or going directly to A&E:
- Unconsciousness or lack of consciousness (for example problems keeping eyes open or increasing sleepiness).
- Increasingly severe headache that won’t go away.
- Problems with understanding, speaking, reading or writing, or any problems with memory.
- A change in behaviour, like being more irritable.
- Numbness or loss of feeling in any part of the body.
- Problems with balance or walking, or general weakness or clumsiness.
- Any changes in eyesight - blurred or double vision.
- Any change to the appearance of the pupils - one pupil larger than the other.
- A black eye with no associated damage around the eye.
- Any vomiting or sickness.
- Any clear fluid running from the ears or nose.
- Bleeding from the ears.
- New deafness.
- Any convulsions or having a fit.
Please visit the NHS website for more information.