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Head injury and concussion

Most head injuries are not serious. You do not usually need to go to hospital and should make a full recovery within 2 weeks.

How to treat a minor head injury

If you do not need to go to hospital, you can usually look after yourself or your child at home.

It's normal to have symptoms such as a slight headache, or feeling sick or dazed, for up to 2 weeks.

To help recovery:

Do

  • hold an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas in a tea towel) to the injury regularly for short periods in the first few days to bring down any swelling

  • rest and avoid stress – you or your child do not need to stay awake if you're tired

  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve pain or a headache – do not use aspirin as it could cause the injury to bleed

  • make sure an adult stays with you or your child for at least the first 24 hours – call 111 for advice if there's nobody who can stay with you

Don't

  • do not go back to work or school until you're feeling better

  • do not drive until you feel you have fully recovered

  • do not play contact sports for at least 3 weeks – children should avoid rough play for a few days

  • do not take drugs or drink alcohol until you're feeling better

  • do not take sleeping pills while you're recovering unless a doctor advises you to