Managing minor closed head injury in children

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Taft, James M.
Davis, Richard H.
Donnelly, Richard E.
Girard, Sharon S.
Muma, Richard D.
Toth, Sarah A.

Taft JM, Davis RH, Donnelly RE, Girard SS, Muma RD, Toth SA. Managing minor closed head injury in children. J Am Acad Physician Assist. 1999;12[12]:37-39.


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its Committee on Quality Improvement in collaboration with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and its Commission on Clinical Policies and Research, and in conjunction with experts in neurology, emergency medicine and critical care, research methodologists, and practicing physicians have developed this practice parameter. This parameter provides recommendations for the management of a previously neurologically healthy child with a minor closed head injury who, at the time of injury, may have experienced temporary loss of consciousness, experienced an impact seizure, vomited, or experienced other signs and symptoms. These recommendations derive from a thorough review of the literature and expert consensus. The methods and results of the literature review and data analyses including evidence tables can be found in the technical report. This practice parameter is not intended as a sole source of guidance for the management of children with minor closed head injuries. Rather, it is designed to assist physicians by providing an analytic framework for the evaluation and management of this condition. It is not intended to replace clinical judgment or establish a protocol for all patients with a minor head injury, and rarely will provide the only appropriate approach to the problem.

The practice parameter, “The Management of Minor Closed Head Injury in Children,” was reviewed by the AAFP Commission on Clinical Policies and Research and individuals appointed by the AAFP and appropriate committees and sections of the AAP including the Chapter Review Group, a focus group of office-based pediatricians representing each AAP District: Gene R. Adams, MD; Robert M. Corwin, MD; Diane Fuquay, MD; Barbara M. Harley, MD; Thomas J. Herr, MD, Chair; Kenneth E. Matthews, MD; Robert D. Mines, MD; Lawrence C. Pakula, MD; Howard B. Weinblatt, MD; and Delosa A. Young, MD.

The supporting data are contained in a technical report available at

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