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. They will either be called to be notified that a bump has occurred and that a 'bumped head slip' has been placed in their book bag or to tell them that they need to come and collect the child because the school first-aider feels that the bump is serious and further medical care might be required (e.g. a visit to the doctor or local A&E).
If any of the following symptoms are noticed while the child remains in school we will ring 999. If any of those symptoms occur up to 24 hours after the bump then parents should seek advice 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.