This article was originally written by Tony Howarth
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I recently had a reader send me this comment:
“As a full-time dad I have to deal with just about every minor illness my two children pickup, everything from a bump on the head to chicken pox. I found the Highway to Health ebook very useful and it’s one of the first things I reach for when something goes wrong!”
Mr John Bradbury
It got me thinking – although the Highway to Health does cover headaches, perhaps going into a little more detail about ‘bumps on the head’ would be useful. So here we go…
There are two main types of head injury – concussion and compression.
*Concussion* is the commonest:
It’s when your brain gets ‘shaken’ inside your head. Like anything, it gets a little bruising. Like any bruise it heals with time.
It can be caused by all sorts of things:
Kids banging heads, perhaps playing sport.
A child recently ran in to a coffee table and got concussion.
Falling off things, running into things, tripping over…
It’s common and not too serious.
You might feel a bit shaken up at first, might even pass out for a few moments, but not for long.
You could feel dizzy or confused as well.
You’ll have a headache – but you knew that, right?
You’ll probably get a bruise or bump on the outside too.
You might feel or be sick, but this will pass.
Your vision might get blurred, but this passes.
> Sit down and take it easy.
> Put a cold compress (e.g. wet sponge) on the bump.
> Try not to worry – or if it’s a child, try to reassure and comfort them.
> Five to ten minutes later, you should be feeling a whole lot better. The headache won’t have gone yet, but it will settle. You might still feel sick, but everything else should have cleared.
> Now you can take whatever pain relief you’d usually have for the headache (and see https://petinstead.com/thehighwaytohealth/ for a whole chapter on relieving headaches).
> Take it easy for the next three days.
> Keep a watch out for the signs & symptoms below (and have someone else watch out for you too).
> You’ll soon be wondering what the fuss was about!
*Compression* is the other type of head injury:
Just like anything that gets injured, your brain can swell.
This is bad news – it’s trapped inside your skull and has nowhere to swell to.
So you get a build-up of pressure on your brain, which causes problems.
It is usually caused by something a bit more severe than a bump on the head
more like a bat over the head, or a bigger fall, or a traffic accident.
This often starts out like concussion, but doesn’t get better in a few minutes.
That feeling of sickness gets worse, and you start to be sick a lot more often.
The headache just gets worse, even when you’ve treated it.
The dizziness or confusion will get worse, and you might pass out for a lot longer. You might have a fit or convulsion.
Your vision might blur and keep getting worse.
>> You need the hospital – and quickly!
>> Anyone who has these symptoms goes straight to hospital.
>> Even if it started out as concussion, this can take up to 72 hours to develop. (It’s commonest within the first four hours.)