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Head injury symptoms

Head injuries range in seriousness from very minor to life-threatening.

If you have a fit or seizure or fall unconscious, even if its only for a second, you should call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

If you are bleeding and it won’t stop, or if you have fluid coming from your nose or ears, you should go to your nearest emergency department immediately.

Even with a minor head injury, you can:

  • get a bump or bruise
  • feel sick
  • get a mild headache
  • become slightly dizzy.

Even in a mild head injury there is a small risk of you developing serious complications so you should be watched closely by another adult for 24 hours after the accident. If you show any of these symptoms or signs after your head injury, or you get worse, go to the nearest hospital, doctor or telephone an ambulance immediately.

  • Fainting or drowsiness - or you can’t wake up
  • Acting strange, saying things that do not make sense (change in behaviour)
  • A constant severe headache or a headache that gets worse
  • Vomiting or throwing up more than twice
  • Cannot remember new events, recognise people or places (increased confusion)
  • Pass out or have a blackout or a seizure (any jerking of the body or limbs)
  • Cannot move parts of your body or clumsiness
  • Blurred vision or slurred speech
  • Continual fluid or bleeding from the ear or nose

Last reviewed: August 2017

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Head Injury

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A head injury or head trauma happens when the brain is swollen, torn, stretched, shaken, compressed, bruised or pierced. Read our page to find what you should do if you think your child has had a head injury.

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Minor Head Injury in Children

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Concussion and mild head injury | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

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Brain Foundation | Concussion

Concussion Concussion (See also Acquired Brain Injury) Description Concussion is used to describe a minor head injury that is not usually life-threatening

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Concussion

The majority of head injuries are minor and scans are not required. However, it is important that you have someone at home with you for the next 24 hours in case you feel unwell.

Read more on WA Health website

Brain Foundation | Acquired Brain Injury

Acquired Brain Injury Acquired Brain Injury (Brain Injury, Head Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI) Description Brain injury includes a complex group of medical and surgical problems that are caused by trauma to the head

Read more on Brain Foundation website

Concussion | Kids Health

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Head injuries and concussion - Better Health Channel

There is no specific treatment for mild head injury other than plenty of rest, and not overdoing things.

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Kids' Health - Topics - Epilepsy - having 'fits'

Sometimes people can have seizures, (many people would call them 'fits') because they have a high fever or have had a head injury. Another name for a seizure is a convulsion (say con-vul-shun).

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

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