A head injury is any physical
harm to the scalp, skull, or brain.
More to Know
Head injuries are very common and usually not serious. They can be external or
External head injuries are injuries to the scalp. These injuries often look serious
because the scalp has many blood vessels that can bleed, sometimes causing a big lump
(or "goose egg") that can take days or weeks to disappear. Applying an ice pack or
instant cold pack (wrapped in a washcloth or towel) to the injured area for up to
20 minutes every 3-4 hours for the first 1-2 days can help ease swelling.
Internal head injuries may involve the skull, blood vessels inside the skull,
or the brain itself.
A concussion is a type
of internal head injury. In a concussion, a person temporarily loses brain function.
Someone may have a concussion even when there's no obvious wound or unconsciousness.
After a concussion, the brain needs time to heal. Recovery time will depend
on how long the symptoms last. It's very important to wait until all symptoms have
ended before resuming normal activities.
Keep in Mind
Safety precautions can prevent head injuries. Kids and adults should
wear helmets, safety gear, and seatbelts whenever appropriate.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical