Blow to, or fall on, the head
When you fall or receive a hard blow to your head, this can be very painful and cause unpleasant symptoms. The same will apply if you hit your head. Not every fall or blow causes symptoms. This will strongly depend on the severity and amount. If you receive a very hard blow to your head, there may be swelling or bleeding in your head.
If you have fallen or received a hard blow, you may suffer from:
- A drowsy feeling in your head.
- Nausea and/or vomiting.
- A headache.
- Neck pain.
- Double or blurred vision.
- Inability to tolerate light and/or sounds.
- Scratches and/or major wounds.
- A nosebleed.
- Bone fractures (skull fracture).
- Bloody or moist ears.
In the event of a blow to, or fall on, your head, we recommend you follow the advice below. The advice can differ per blow or fall. The severity of the injury will dictate whether or not you should follow the advice. So check carefully which advice applies to you and, if in doubt, always consult your GP.
- Cool your head with an ice pack, a frozen bag of vegetables, or something else from the freezer. Wrap a tea towel or towel around it and hold it against your head for 20 minutes.
- Take a break and rest for a while and don’t overdo things. This is especially sensible during the first few days after the blow or fall.
- Make sure you don’t look at screens, like a computer or television, for too long during the first few days.
- Don’t drink alcohol and don’t use drugs.
- Try to keep doing your daily activities as much as possible. Going to work or school is therefore allowed. However, it’s important you take it easy. If necessary, ask your company doctor or school doctor for advice. Also inform your colleagues, classmates and/or teachers.
- Avoid getting hit on the head again. We don’t recommend sports whereby you may fall or get hit by something for the first two weeks. You can subsequently assess whether this advice still applies to you.
- Take paracetamol for severe headaches. Carefully read the package leaflet and/or get advice about the correct dosage. Paracetamol is available in the supermarket, or from the chemist or pharmacy.
- Take good care of your wounds. Clean them with water and iodine, apply a plaster if necessary, put a gauze over it or have it stitched up by your GP. Also check whether you have been sufficiently vaccinated. You should contact your GP immediately if this is not the case.
The same advice applies to children. Be extra vigilant if you have a young child who has fallen. In such cases it would never do any harm to obtain some extra advice from your GP.
You should contact your GP immediately if:
- You have fallen very hard or received a very hard blow to the head.
- You are 60 years old or above.
- You have a young child who has fallen.
- You are, or have been, unconscious. In that case, someone close to you should contact the emergency department or your GP practice. It’s always important to err on the side of caution. You can also call the emergency department if you’re in any doubt.
- You are taking blood-thinners.
- You suffer from amnesia.
- You suddenly get a severe headache and you have not had this before.
- You have neck pain.
- You are not sufficiently vaccinated and have wounds.
- You have a serious wound or sore area on your head.
- You have fallen from a great height and/or suffered a serious blow. For example, from five stair treads or higher.
- You consumed alcohol or drugs before you fell or were hit.
- You can’t stop vomiting and if you continue to feel nauseous.
- You start suffering from the above symptoms at a later time.
- Your child reacts differently after being hit and/or falling.
- Your child suffers from one or more of the above symptoms.
- You are very worried.