If your children are like mine, then you’ll have to nurse many bumps and bruises as they grow up. This article is a great place to start on what to do next if you or your little one bumps their head.

We learn through adversity. It shapes us and guides us. It prevents us from making the same mistakes over and over again. It’s what helps us to navigate the quotidian perils of life and become smarter, stronger and better. The more we learn from a mistake such as an injury, the more less likely we are to repeat it. Strain something in the gym and the resulting pain and immobility will remind you that next time you really should warm up before you life. Bump another car in the parking lot and maybe you’ll be a little less fast and a little more observant the next time you maneuver into a space. There are some circumstances, however, where we can never be too forearmed. Head injury is one of them. If you’ve bumped your head in a slip, trip or fall or as the result of someone else’s negligence, this may have consequences that could be exacerbated if you don’t do the right thing straight away.

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The effects of head trauma

Even if you feel okay and are able to function more or less normally after a head injury, there could be residual damage to your brain of which you’re unaware. Including concussion or post-concussion syndrome. If left untreated or ignored, even a seemingly innocuous head injury could result in brain damage which may require brain injury rehab or even lead to disability. Knowing what to do immediately after the injury itself can help to mitigate the effects and ensure that you get the right treatment. At the very least you’ll prevent yourself from inadvertently making things worse.

Returning home

If possible you should avoid driving home after a head injury as the effects of a concussion can severely affect your reactions in what is, let’s be honest, a very hazardous situation. If you’re able to be escorted home by another adult who can keep an eye on you, this is perfect. Have them help you watch out for early symptoms of concussion including loss of balance, blurred vision, weaving or wobbling when walking, nausea and vomiting, loss of hearing and bleeding from one or both ears, drowsiness or clear liquid coming from your nose or ears.

Even if you display none of these symptoms immediately, it’s still a good idea to play it safe over the next few days. Make sure that you’re never too far away from a hospital or at the very least always have your phone with you should you need an ambulance.

Do this

Have plenty of rest over the next few days and avoid stress as much as possible. Make sure that you are with people as much as possible and speak up if you feel at all abnormal in any of the abovementioned ways. If you experience headaches you may take painkillers such as paracetamol but not aspirin. Aspirin may exacerbate internal bleeding which can worsen your injury.

Don’t do this

Avoid being home alone for 48 hours after your injury. It’s worth checking in with your doctor before returning to work, driving or engaging in sports or returning to the gym. Needless to say you should also avoid self medicating with alcohol if you are in pain.

Knowing what to do after a head injury can make a whole world of difference to its effects.

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