Minor Head Trauma

What is minor head trauma?

A minor or small head injury is generally not a cause for concern. It might cause a small bump, bruise, or cut on the scalp or face. People with a minor injury do not lose consciousness, and usually recover from any symptoms, such as headache, dizziness or double vision, quickly. A cold compress on the area (such as a ice pack or bag of peas) and simple pain relief (paracetamol) can help to reduce pain and swelling. It is important to keep a close eye on people who have had a head injury to make sure any change in their symptoms is noticed quickly. If the symptoms or pain becomes worse, it is important to see a doctor immediately for further assessment. Most people with a minor head injury recover well within 1 to 2 days.

Risks

Minor head injuries can affect anyone of any age. They are more common in young children, and people who play ball or contact sports.

Symptoms

Pain and swelling in the injured area are the most common symptoms. Other symptoms may include dizziness, headache, confusion and double vision, but these usually go away quickly.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis is based on the symptoms and physical examination.

Treatment

Most people with a minor head injury do not need emergency treatment. However, it is important to keep a close eye on people who have had a head injury for 24 hours to make sure any change in their symptoms is noticed quickly. A cold compress on the area (such as a ice pack or bag of peas) and simple pain relief (paracetamol or ibuprofen) can help to reduce pain and swelling. If the symptoms become worse, it is important to see a doctor immediately.

Prevention

Some steps that can help to avoid minor head injuries include: using the correct safety equipment at work or during sports; removing things in the home at head height (such as low-hanging lamps) or which may cause falls (such as carpets); and childproofing the home (if required).

Other names for minor head trauma

  • minor head injury