Head Injuries

Care Tips for Head Injuries

If you or someone in your care suffer a head injury that is not severe enough to require hospitalization, as decided by a qualified physician, follow the following guidelines:

  • Maintain limited activity for 48 hours. This includes no school for children and no work for adults, depending on the injury.
  • Stick to a diet of clear liquids only for eight hours followed by 24 hours of reduced amounts of food.
  • Take only nonaspirin pain medications for headache or discomfort. Speak with the pharmacist if you're not sure whether or not a particular medication is aspirin free.
  • Set an alarm to wake the patient every two to three hours during the first night post injury.

Consult your primary care physician immediately if any of the following signs appear:

  • Persistent nausea and/or vomiting
  • Unusual sleepiness or difficulty waking
  • Uneven pupil sizes or different-looking pupils
  • Weakness, paralysis or numbness in arms or legs or difficulty walking
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Significant changes in breathing patterns
  • Persistent dizziness