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Scalp Contusion in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 4, 2022.

A scalp contusion is a bruise on your child's scalp. There is bleeding under the scalp, but the skin is not broken. Your child may have swelling at the site of the bruise. The bruise may take up to 7 days to heal.


Home care:

  • Observe your child for 24 hours after the injury. Watch for the signs of serious injury listed below, such as a seizure or trouble breathing. Your child will need immediate care if he develops signs of a serious injury.
  • Apply ice to your child's bruise. Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your child's bruise for 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider or pediatrician as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

Contact your child's healthcare provider or pediatrician if:

  • Your child has a headache or neck pain.
  • Your child is having trouble keeping his balance or has trouble walking.
  • Your child is irritable, will not stop crying, or cannot be consoled.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

Return to the emergency department or call 911 if:

  • Your child has a seizure.
  • Your child is hard to awaken or cannot be awakened.
  • Your child's breathing is too slow, too fast, or different than usual.
  • Your child has blood or clear fluid coming out of his nose, ears, or mouth.
  • Your child is having trouble speaking.
  • Your child has vomited 2 to 3 times within 24 hours.
  • Your child's pupils are not the same size.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.