First Aid

Bumps On The Head

old think: Don't let a child go to sleep after a head injury.

new think: As long as she's acting normally, let her go to sleep at her usual bedtime. Wake her after an hour to be sure she recognizes you and responds appropriately. Do it again at the four–hour mark; if she's fine, you can let her sleep through the rest of the night.

why: If a child has hit her head hard enough to cause internal bleeding, your keeping her awake won't change anything. If she's acting normally but you're concerned about the force with which she banged her head, call your doctor. If she seems disoriented or off balance, loses consciousness, vomits repeatedly, or cries inconsolably after a head injury, bring her straight to the emergency room.

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