What To Do If You're With Someone When They Hit Their Head
Head injuries can be very serious, so if you're with someone who hits their head, it's important that you know what to do and how to help that person. Follow these steps to ensure your friend gets the care that they need.
1. Don't move your friend.
Unless your friend is in a really dangerous place like in the road in front of oncoming traffic, do not move them. Let them sit on the ground right where they are. (If they hit their head while standing, have them sit down).
2. Examine the head for open wounds.
It's not hard to scrape or cut the head. Examine your friend's head, and see if it is bleeding anywhere. If there is a very deep gash, call an ambulance right away while you begin to apply pressure to the wound, using your hand and a clean cloth. If the wound is more shallow, you should also apply pressure with a cloth to slow the bleeding. Keep in mind that head wounds do bleed a lot, but pressure should slow the bleeding.
3. Ask your friend some basic questions.
Ask them what their name is, where they are, and what day it is. If they are unable to answer these questions, call an ambulance, as this is a sign that they may be seriously injured. If they are able to answer you without too much struggle, move on to the next step.
4. Get your friend up.
If your friend has a head wound, take them to urgent care at this point. If they are not bleeding and don't seem confused, you can get them up off the ground and move them to a comfortable chair. Then, observe them over the next few hours. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you'll need to take them to urgent care, as these are signs of a head injury:
- Sudden onset of tiredness
- Slurred speech
- Changes in eyesight
Do not allow your friend to fall asleep during this time. Have them sip some water, perhaps have a small snack, and sit quietly. Engage them in conversation so you can keep tabs on their awareness. Once several hours pass, if they appear to be just fine, you can assume that no serious harm was done when they hit their head. However, in some cases, symptoms of mild concussions don't appear until many hours later, so your friend should still stay quiet and monitor their condition for the next day or so.