Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) affects individuals differently, but there are some similarities among patients, based on the age of the brain at the time of injury. When children suffer TBI, it can be particularly upsetting. Traumatic Brain Injuries don’t always heal or heal completely, causing a great loss of human potential.
Studies estimate that 100,000 children are hospitalized for brain injury every year and it is suspected that many more go untreated. Evidence suggests that children are at greatest risk of developing permanent impairment, even many years after the injury, especially with severe head injury. Children with difficulty adapting to new situations and those from low-income families are also exceptionally vulnerable.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
Children are prone to accidents. They are more physically active than adults are and have not developed all the reasoning skills to judge when an activity is dangerous. They may be lured to an inherently dangerous area that has not been properly protected, or they may be injured because of a car accident. Other common sources of injury include defective toys and products and sports injuries.
Children may describe their symptoms accurately. Because of this, caregivers may not realize the extent of injury, possibly overlooking the TBI altogether. What’s worse, an untreated concussion can result in more severe consequences later in life, even from a seemingly minor head trauma incident.
After any incident where the child falls or has any sort of impact to the head or neck, parents should look for the following signs:
- Mood changes, excessive irritability or listlessness
- Lack of interest in food or eating
- Vomiting and Nausea
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Lack of energy or interest in usual favorite activities
- Loss of recently-acquired skills (like toilet training or counting to five)
- Inconsolable and will not stop crying
- Problems with balance
Any of these symptoms can be evidence of TBI. It is vital that parents seek immediate treatment. Imaging tests, like X-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans will be performed to diagnose the injury. The severity of injury is gauged by a standard 15-point test that measures a child’s level of consciousness and brain functioning.
The younger a child’s age at the time of injury, the more vulnerable the brain is to long-term problems. Children may seem to recover quickly, only to begin showing signs of developmental delay or personality problems later in life due. This is because children’s brains continue to develop and change throughout adolescence. If an inactive area of the brain is injured, the damage may not become evident until years later, when that part of the brain begins to mature.
When a child suffers a brain injury, the entire family suffers and your children depend on you to look after their interests. If your child was injured due to the fault of another, contact the Brain Injury Law Center right away. Our brain injury law experts will provide a free consultation and evaluation so you can know your child’s rights and options.