What Are The Signs Of A Serious Head Injury In A Child?

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    Two days ago, I had an extremely scary moment as a mother when my seven year old son was seriously injured.  It all happened around 10 P.M. when I sent my boys to their room and told them to lay out their school uniforms for the next day.  I realize that this was a late time for them to be up but, since it’s the end of the school year and we are already mentally on vacation mode, I must admit that I have been a little lax in enforcing a strict bedtime like I do the rest of the year.  In the five minutes that they were in the room, I fielded a quick phone call from my son’s godmother.

    Suddenly, as I was preparing to hang up the phone, my older son ran into the living room and told me that he accidentally hit his brother with his baseball bat.  It seems they were horsing around in the room and he was swinging the aluminum baseball bat sideways from one side of his waist to the other side when my younger son stepped in the way of the bat and got conked on his eyebrow.  The minute I saw the knot on my son’s eyebrow my heart dropped!  He literally had a bump the size of an Easter egg on his head!

Photo I took of my son’s injury while he was being examined by the doctor at the hospital.

    Being a teacher, I am trained in how to deal with children and these kinds of situations so I immediately took an ice pack out of the freezer and proceeded to apply pressure to the bump.  I also assessed him physically to make sure he wasn’t vomiting or lethargic as these are signs of serious injury when it comes to head injuries.  Thankfully, he was alert the entire time and was able to converse with me as I held the ice pack.  While I was tending to his wound, I called my husband to let him know that he had to come home from work to help me take my son to the hospital.  This decision was made due to the size of the bump and the fact that I felt it was significant enough to warrant having it checked out by a medical professional.

You can read the worry on my husband’s face as we wait for the doctor to examine our son’s wound.

    After being thoroughly examined by two doctors, we were told that our son’s head injury would not likely lead to any problems.  According to the doctors, children are very resilient and that the part of the skull that is the eyebrow is designed to withstand significant impact.  They kept him under observation for six hours and discharged him to home from the Pediatric Emergency Department.  They advised us on the signs that we should look for whenever a child sustains a head injury and I thought it was important to share this advice with all of you.

Signs of a Serious Head Injury in a Child:

  • Difficult in being aroused or increased sleepiness
  • Twitching of any muscles or seizure (convulsion)
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Severe headache, not responding to Tylenol/Motrin
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Unsteadiness or staggering when trying to walk

    If your child develops any of the these symptoms as a result of sustaining a head injury, he or she should be examined by a medical professional immediately.  When it comes to head injuries, time is of the essence and I believe it is better to be safe by getting the injury checked than sorry later.  We were very fortunate that our son just sustained a hematoma, which is a collection of blood, under the skin.  There was significant swelling and there will be some scary bruising but we are hopeful that he will make a full recovery.  Hopefully, our boys have learned their lesson about horsing around with sports equipment in their room but, as a mother of two boys, I’m sure this will be the first of many trips to gets bumps and bruises checked by the doctor.

Let’s Discuss:  Has your child ever sustained a head injury and what was the outcome?

Disclaimer-We are not medical professionals and any statements we make are based on our own experiences and are not meant to be taken instead of medical advice from a licensed medical professional.

© 2013, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Glenda Cates says

    Unfortunately my daughter did as she was hit by a car and died of brain trauma. So I am so happy to hear your son is OK, but I am sure it was scary. Have a great night and I hope the rest of the week is better for you all.

    • I’m so very sorry for your loss, Glenda. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal loss with all of us. I appreciate your kind words and, yes it was terrifying. I’m also glad that he is recovering from this injury.

  2. Misha Estrada says

    So sorry for your loss, Glenda. I have been very fortunate and none of my kids have had any serious injuries. My third child has a severe cognitive handicap, autism, etc. He is non-verbal and seems to have an unusually high tolerance for pain. Every time I hear a loud bang, I am terrified and have to go check on him, because he can’t tell me that he hit his head or hurt himself.

    • That is so scary, Misha. I hope that he never seriously hurts himself but, if he ever does hit his head, make sure you pay close attention to the signs I mentioned. It is important to closely monitor head injuries and to seek medical attention.

  3. Hi, Mary. Believe me, I wanted to fall to pieces but when I saw how upset my son was, I knew I had to put on a brave face to keep him calm. I hope you never have to use this information but it’s important for everyone to know what dangerous signs to look for.

  4. Migdalia aka @MsLatina says

    How scary Maria! I am so glad he is ok and that you were there when it happened. When my teen was younger, about 5, he had to have several stitches in his forehead. He was “ice skating” – aka sliding on floor with socks – and fell right onto the corner of the air conditioner in the laundry room. It busted his forehead open! It was so scary he came to me, pale as a ghost and when he moved his hand, I could see inside his skull. He still has the scar. Thankfully, it’s a funny story NOW.

  5. Daisy Tremorev says

    Poor baby! That was scary.
    We had our first accident w/ our son. He was accidentally hit in a tooth at preschool when they were in the wading pools. It was bleeding and felt a little loose. It seems to be OK now and hopefully it is. Poor little was really scared and upset.

  6. Aww! I am so sorry this happened. My son had a serious head injury when he was two. His older sister was playing with a golf club(!) at my in-laws and he stepped behind her when she swung it around. He still has a scar between his eyes.

  7. Thank you for sharing this important information! Poor little guy, glad he’s okay! We’ve had our share of bumps and bruises and they are always scary to handle.

  8. Thanks. That is so scary. That happened to my son once and I still relive it even though he was fine.

  9. That is scary. My son had a injury just like that and it scared me.

  10. Melanie Roberts says

    What a great article and great reminder… It always scares me if the kids get an injury, my daughter fell off a slide one day and burned her forehead, talking about freaking out.

  11. kSquaredGlamour says

    Ouch his poor little head :/ I always freak out if my daughter hurts her head in anyway and was always told to never let them go to sleep after a head injury and keep them awake for at least a few hours after it happens.

  12. Krystal Kesson says

    AWE!! Poor lil guy!!!! great post!

  13. A little funny for me to read this. We just took our kiddo the emergency room the day before last for a head injury. She fell down at the post office pretty hard. It was very scary. Her CT and everything looked good though. Just a scare. Better safe than sorry though.

  14. So scary! I have four kids, and head injuries or even mouth ones freak me out the most. They are true bleeders, must be watched carefully . I’m so glad he’s ok though!

  15. I can only imagine how scared you must have been. My son hasn’t have any serious injuries of that sort but I do remember my brother needing stiches in his head once from us horsing around. Kids will be kids but luckily he is ok.

  16. Yes, both of my sons have when they were younger. Several times. I too took them to the doctor because you just don’t know with head trauma. They sustained concussions but were as good as new within a week or so. It is a scary thing to go through.

  17. Amanda McMahon says

    no real head injuries here that required a doctor visit. But we had two ER visits for scorpion stings

  18. Thank goodness, I have never had to deal with head injuries in my life.

  19. Terry My Journey With Candida says

    Oh my gosh… Ouch. Thank goodness all is okay. I have never had anything like that happen. My Father in Law did fall and hit his head but he seems to be okay also.

  20. Oh no! How is my favorite little man doing? Pobrecito..

  21. Oh no poor guy I hope he’s feeling much better now! x

  22. My son had a serious head injury when he was two and walked behind a golf club his sister was swinging at my inlaws. It was no fun! I hope your son is feeling much better now, poor little guy.

  23. Dawn Spatulas On Parade says

    OUCH poor boy! My goodness that hurts to look at. Head injuries should always be checked out by a doctor in my opinion. Glad he is okay.

  24. Awww!! We just got a sheet on this very info. from the school that had to be signed and returned. I was glad they were spreading the word.

  25. Akhil Sharma says

    poor kid 🙁 Thank god everything is fine now. Happy healing little brave boy 🙂

  26. I’m glad he is doing okay, but good for you for taking it seriously. I used to coach at the high school level, and so many parents didn’t understand the severity in getting head injuries checked out by a medical professional.

  27. Ouch! Head wounds scare me. They bleed so badly. Glad to have those tips to know when it is serious!

  28. I did a post similar to this a few weeks ago when Madison fell and injured herself as well. She was fine in the long run but as moms we tend to want to protect. Happy to know that he’s doing fine.

  29. Corinne Schmitt says

    Poor honey! I’m glad he wasn’t more seriously injured. Thank you for this important information. I wasn’t aware of the signs until my oldest son was in high school and the athletics department required all parents to read and sign a form with this information on it. Often times, you aren’t even aware that they suffered a head injury if it happens during a sporting event when there is a lot of knocking each other around going on.

  30. ouch, looks pretty serious.. Hope he is ok. Thanks for the tip

  31. Melinda Kuffler Dunne says

    My daughter actually fell and hit her head on the floor in a grocery store. I took her to the hospital too. She had a concussion. I don’t play around with head injuries they can be deadly. I am glad your son it doing better.

  32. This is so important and thank you for sharing. I did not know these signs but I will be keeping them in mind with my toddler. It’s so easy for something to happen and we don’t always know if we are handling a medical situation the right way!

  33. Holy GEEZ!! I hope he’s ok!! I’m afraid of the day my son comes home with some kind of bad injury and it will happen if he’s anything like his father… /facepalm. I shall remember these tips…

  34. Ashley Goodman says

    Such great advice for moms especially moms of boys! Thanks for posting

  35. My son plays lacrosse and while he always has a helmet on, I still worry about this too!

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