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A minor head injury is a knock, bump or blow to the head that doesn’t cause serious injury. It’s common in people of all ages, can happen in many different ways and it usually doesn’t lead to permanent damage.
However, some seemingly minor head injuries may be more serious than they first appear and may need medical attention. Call an ambulance or ask someone to take you to the emergency department immediately if you’ve injured your head and you:
Call an ambulance if someone has injured their head and they:
Do you have questions about a head injury?
If you’re not sure if you have a serious head injury, check your symptoms by downloading our free Self-Assessment Tool.
Minor head injuries often cause a bump or bruise on the head. Other symptoms of a minor head injury may include:
If you develop these mild symptoms after a knock, bump or blow to the head, you may not need any specific treatment. However, you should see a doctor if you’re worried, your symptoms last more than 2 weeks or if you’re not sure if it’s safe for you to work, drive, go to school or do sports.
Minor head injuries are common in people of all ages and can happen in many different ways.
The most common causes of a minor head injury are:
It’s also thought that alcohol may be a factor in up to 65% of adult head injuries.
Other causes of minor head injuries in young people and adults include accidents at home, sports-related injuries and work accidents
If your head injury is minor you usually won't need to visit your doctor or hospital for treatment.If you’re worried about a head injury, see your doctor. Otherwise, follow the advice below.If you have a minor head injury:
It’s not always possible to avoid the types of accidents that can cause head injuries, but you can reduce your risk of a head injury if an accident happens by doing the following things.
Tips for reducing the risk of accidents at home that could lead to a head injury include:
To reduce the risk of getting a head injury at work, always follow health and safety guidelines, and don’t do manual tasks that you haven’t been appropriately trained to do.
Always wear any necessary safety equipment when playing sports, particularly contact sports. Don’t play any contact sports after a head injury without speaking to your doctor.
A minor head injury carries a small risk of complications, such as a concussion. If you develop any of the following symptoms up to a few days after a minor head injury, go to the emergency department immediately as you may have a concussion:
If you develop any complications from your head injury, you may find it useful to talk to someone about it. Speak to your doctor for advice on local support services that may be of help.
Date of last review: 30 September 2020
Date of next review: 30 September 2023
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.