Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"I was headbutted by a 1 year old. Should I see a doctor?"

ZocdocAnswersI was headbutted by a 1 year old. Should I see a doctor?


Last night I was lying on the bed and my 1 year old daughter was playing with my husband and rolling around. While playing, she threw her body backwards and slammed the back of her head into my forehead so hard that my teeth chattered. Last night there was some on my left temple where the most impact happened. The pain radiated across the left side of my head and my left ear popped. I placed ice on the place of impact to reduce swelling but I have not taken any medicine. This morning the pain continued, but as a dull ache. Should I be concerned?


Thank you for your question. These sorts of trauma with kids are unfortunately quite common, as most of us with kids can attest. The real crux of your question however is with regards to what symptoms need to be seen by a doctor and which will resolve by themselves over time. In general, if you have a question about a symptom, you should at least call or speak with your doctor to describe the problem and determine if you need to be seen. With specific regards to head trauma, there are some keys. Any persistent changes to any of the nerves of your head and neck would be a sign that you need to see a doctor (such as vision changes, not able to move your tongue, not able to feel an area, etc). Other signs such as large trauma to the skin that may need suture also need to be seen. Loss of consciousness or persistent pain that is out of proportion to the injury are also things that should be seen by a doctor. There are many other symptoms that need to be evaluated by a doctor, but these are a few of the common ones. Please speak with your doctor.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.