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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 12816
Experience:  GP with over 27 years experience including emergency medicine
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Would I be correct in saying that if a child falls and bangs

Customer Question

Would I be correct in saying that if a child falls and bangs their head it IS safe for them to sleep straight away as long as you check on them every 1-2 hours?

I know a Nurse (well she was 10 years ago) and when someone bangs and falls their head she instantly says to not let the child sleep.

I'm virtually 100% confident that I'm correct, but trying to tell a 'nurse' she is wrong is pointless haha.

Isn't this just a wives-tale and therefore they are wrong and possibly even bad advice as feeling sleepy after banging your head is your bodies response to try and heal?

I'm aware that if they feel sick, get an headache or their condition worsens and to seek medical attention but I'm just talking about the sleeping thing.

Optional Information:
Person's Gender: Male
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Family Physician replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for you most interesting question:

There are a number of things to consider when a child hits their head. If the child did not lose conciousness, is otherwise acting normal and is not having any symptoms - there is no problem.

However, if the child was "out", is dizzy, vomiting, lethargic, etc - then they should be evaluated by a physician. Here is a UK based site that supports the fact that there is NO problem letting child go to sleep following a minor head injury.
http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Head-Injury-Instructions.htm

Another site from Australia
http://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Head_injury/

And several from the USA
http://www.childrensdayton.org/cms/child_health_information/54aa7806adcb1d4a/index.html

http://www.cpnonline.org/CRS/CRS/pa_headtrau_hhg.htm

Personally, as a primary care physician who did lots of work in emergency departments, I told parents that there was no problem in letting the child sleep.