Head injury, either alone or in combination with multiple injuries, is common in children. Its pattern is different in children compared to adults, with diffuse cerebral swelling rather than localized hematoma being most common. The pathophysiology of pediatric head trauma is not yet clearly elucidated, but may be closely related to changes in the regulation of cerebral blood flow. The initial management and subsequent care of the child with severe brain injury are discussed from a multisystem viewpoint. The prognosis for children with severe head injury seems brighter than for adults, but there are not yet enough data to allow prediction of outcome in any individual case. Efforts to prevent, rather than treat, head injury in childhood are more likely to be beneficial.