Head Injury – Discharge Information for Parents / Carers (Paediatrics)
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We think that it is alright for your child to leave hospital now. We have checked their symptoms and they seem well on the road to recovery. When you get them home, it is very unlikely that they will have any further problems. But, if any of the following symptoms do return, we suggest you bring them back to A&E as soon as possible:
• Unconsciousness, or lack of full consciousness (for example, problems keeping eyes open)
• Drowsiness (feeling sleepy) that goes on for longer than 1 hour when they would normally be wide awake
• Difficulty waking the child up
• Problems understanding or speaking
• Loss of balance or problems walking
• Weakness in one or more arms or legs
• Problems with eyesight
• Painful headache that won’t go away
• Seizures / convulsions / fits
• Clear fluid coming out of child’s ear or nose
• Bleeding from one or both ears
Things you shouldn’t worry about:
They may feel some other symptoms over the next few days which should disappear in the next 2 weeks. These include a mild headache, feeling sick (without vomiting), dizziness, irritability or bad temper, problems concentrating or problems with their memory, tiredness, lack of appetite or problems sleeping. If you feel very concerned about any of these symptoms in the first few days after discharge, you should seek medical advice from your GP or Urgent Care Centre. If these problems do not go away after 2 weeks, you should seek medical advice from your GP or Urgent Care Centre.
Things that will help your child to get better:
If the child follows this advice, it should help them to get better more quickly and it may help any symptoms they have to go away:
• DO have plenty of rest and avoid stressful situations
• DO NOT take sleeping pills, sedatives or tranquilisers unless prescribed by a doctor.
• DO NOT play any contact sport e.g. football for at least 3 weeks without talking to your doctor first.
Things you should do to make sure your child is OK:
• DO NOT allow them to return to school until you feel they have completely recovered.
• DO NOT leave your child alone in your home for the first 24 hours after leaving hospital.
• Do make sure that there is a nearby telephone and that the child stays within easy reach of medical help.
Most children recover quickly from their accident and experience no long-term problems. However, some children may develop problems after a few weeks or months. If you start to feel that things are not quite right for your child (for example memory problems, not feeling themselves), then please contact your GP as soon as possible to ensure your child is recovering properly. You can find further information and support from the Child Brain Injury Trust: http://childbraininjurytrust.org.uk/
Milton Keynes Hospital Switchboard: 01908 660033.