First aid for serious head injuries in children and babies

Ensuring safety: First aid treatment for serious head injuries in children and babies

Head injuries in children and babies are a cause for immediate concern and action. Being equipped with appropriate first aid treatment knowledge can make a crucial difference in ensuring the child's well-being. In this blog, Rose delves into the importance of understanding and implementing first aid measures for serious head injuries in young ones.

Key facts and statistics

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), head injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults worldwide.
  • In the UK, approximately 40,000 children and babies visit accident and emergency departments each year due to head injuries.
  • The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) reports that falls are the most common cause of head injuries in children under the age of five.

Key definitions

  • Concussion - A temporary loss of consciousness and cognitive function caused by a blow to the head.
  • Skull fracture - A break in one of the bones surrounding the brain, often accompanied by symptoms such as bruising, swelling, or bleeding.
  • Intracranial haemorrhage - Bleeding within the skull can exert pressure on the brain, leading to severe complications.

Relevant legislation, regulations, and best practice

  • Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations - 1981 Employers are required to provide adequate first aid facilities and trained personnel, including appropriate training for dealing with pediatric emergencies.
  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidelines - Recommendations for the initial assessment and management of head injuries in children and babies are provided to healthcare professionals.

Recognising the signs

Identifying a head injury in a child or baby can be challenging, as they may not be able to communicate their symptoms effectively. Look out for signs such as loss of consciousness, vomiting, irritability, or unusual behaviour.

Immediate action

If you suspect a severe head injury, it's crucial to act swiftly. Ensure the child's safety and call emergency services immediately. While waiting for help to arrive, keep the child calm and still, and monitor their vital signs.

First aid measures

  • Do not move the child unless absolutely necessary - Minimise movement to prevent further injury to the head or neck.
  • Control bleeding - Apply gentle pressure to wounds using a clean cloth or dressing.
  • Monitor breathing and consciousness - If the child is unconscious but breathing, place them in recovery to maintain an open airway.


  • Seek medical attention - Even if the injury seems minor, it's essential to have a healthcare professional assess the child to rule out any underlying complications.
  • Prevention is key - Take steps to childproof your home and supervise children during play to reduce the risk of accidents.


Ensuring the safety of children and babies is paramount, especially in the event of a head injury. By being informed about first aid treatment and following best practices, we can all play a role in safeguarding the well-being of our little ones.

Empower yourself with first aid knowledge and consider enrolling in a pediatric first aid course. Click here to learn life-saving skills that could make a difference in an emergency.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

Ensuring safety: First aid treatment for serious head injuries in children and babies - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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