From 2001 to 2009, the rate of emergency room visits for concussions from sports and recreation injuries rose 57 percent among children. Considering this increase in the number of concussions, here are eight things for parents to watch out for when it comes to TBIs:
1. Falls are the most common cause of TBIs among children ages 0-14, according to the CDC, accounting for 55 percent of injuries. For older teens, car crashes are the most common cause.
5. Returning to normal activities can be a slow process and should happen only when the doctor says it is time. Severe concussions and TBI may mean injured children will have to miss school or other activities. They might need support when they are ready to return. For children injured while playing a sport, a doctor should make the call about when it is safe to return to the game.
6. Children’s brains are still developing, which means that a TBI may actually be more devastating for a child than for an adult. Cognitive impairments might not be obvious right after the injury but may emerge later on, creating learning and social challenges for children with TBI.
7. Treatment depends on the severity and type of TBI, and can include care from neurologists and other specialists. For a concussion, rest is key, and often includes complete rest from all mental and physical stimuli. Follow-up medical care is vital, especially for severe brain injuries where the child has to regain cognitive or other functions.
8. Preventing falls and other accidents can prevent TBIs. Steps to avoid TBIs among children include always wearing a seatbelt in a car, wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle or skating, making sure playgrounds have shock-absorbing materials, using protective equipment during sports, securing rugs and using rubber mats in bathtubs.
If your child has been involved in an accident resulting in a TBI, it’s important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to go over your legal options. If someone else’s negligence was responsible for your child’s injury, you may be entitled to significant compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and other losses.
- Brain Injury Association of America – Brain Injury in Children
- CDC – Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Fact Sheet
- Sports Concussion Institute – Concussion Facts
- org – Children with Traumatic Brain Injury: A Parents’ Guide
- org – Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury
- Boston Children’s Hospital – Head or brain injury in children