Among 62 children and adolescents (1-16 years) admitted over a period of 3 years (1987-1989) with a minor head injury, 33 (53%) were found to harbour intracranial lesions of surgical interest. The most frequent lesion found was extradural haematoma (17 cases), followed by cerebral contusion (7 cases), depressed fracture (4 cases), depressed fracture with underlying contusion (3 cases) and pneumocephalus (2 cases). A skull fracture was present in 88% of patients with an intracranial lesion and in 50% of patients without lesions. Fifteen patients underwent surgery for an extradural haematoma or a depressed fracture. All had a good recovery. No correlation was found between age and Glasgow Coma Score on the one hand, and the incidence of both the presence of intracranial lesions and the necessity of surgical treatment on the other. The only important risk factor proved to be a skull fracture, which had occurred significantly more often in patients with intracranial lesions than in those without any.