Children’s Traumatic Brain Injuries
Every year, a large percentage of children’s disabilities and deaths are caused by traumatic brain injuries. These tragedies usually occur before age four – or between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. Perhaps the saddest additional fact is that too many caring parents, teachers, and other caregivers fail to notice the rather subtle signs that these injuries have occurred explains a New York brain injury attorney at the F&A accident law firm in Manhattan.
While most children’s traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are due to vehicle accidents – many of them are also caused by sports injuries, general falls, abuse, and other events.
All parents, teachers, and other caregivers are urged to review the following traumatic brain injury statistics and related information. It can help everyone more readily recognize children’s TBI symptoms in the future.
What the Numbers Tell Us About TBIs Occurring Between Birth and Age 19
- About sixty-two thousand (62,000) traumatic brain injuries occur each year that require hospitalization;
- Another 564,000 children are annually treated and released from hospital emergency rooms;
- About 1,300 children suffer either severe or fatal TBIs each year.
Specific Data on Kids Incurring TBIs Between Birth and Age 14:
- There suffer about 2,685 TBI deaths per year;
- They require approximately 37,000 hospitalizations annually; and
- They also make 435,000 emergency department visits each year.
The following lists detail some of the precise symptoms children often exhibit after suffering serious traumatic brain injuries.
Physical Changes Possibly Indicating a TBI Has Been Suffered Recently
- Speech problems. Newly observed changes in – or difficulties with – speaking clearly;
- Vision troubles. Is your child now reporting blurred vision, double vision – or other visual difficulties?
- Hearing problems. Is your child now having more difficulty hearing out of one ear – or does s/he complain of ringing in her/his ears?
- Constant or frequent headaches. If these are new for your child, visit a doctor right away – unless you’re positive that they’re only due to a cold or the flu;
- Seizures – or conversely — any new types of paralysis. Never ignore these and immediately take your child for a thorough medical exam once you see such symptoms;
- Muscle spasticity and/or problems with motor coordination. If your child has never experienced these problems before – or only rarely — have a doctor check them out immediately.
While none of the lists shared here are intended to be fully comprehensive, they should provide you with enough added insights to obtain proper care for your child.
Cognitive Impairments – Problems with Thinking Clearly
- Difficulties focusing in on work or simple tasks;
- Behavior indicating that a child can suddenly no longer read, write or communicate as effectively as in the recent past;
- Use of poor judgment when responding to simple requests.
Emotional Impairments – Is Your Child Responding to You with Greater Upset?
- Sudden or new moodswings. Is your child very quiet and calm one moment – then flying into rages the next minute, with little provocation?
- Do you see higher levels of anxiety, depression, or restlessness? If so, consider taking your child to one or more doctors for physical and/or psychological exams;
- Unusually low self-esteem or lack of motivation? These can be symptoms of recent head trauma – so take them seriously.
It’s also wise to look for unusual fatigue, difficulty sleeping – or even dizziness and balance issues. Also, be sure to immediately respond to any brief or longer lapses in consciousness.
Why Children’s Brain Injuries Can Prove More Serious Than Those Suffered by Adults
Long ago, people wrongfully assumed that since children’s brains were still developing, they could readily respond in a more “flexible” way to most injuries. That myth has now been completely debunked. In fact, the Brain Injury Association of America (and other medical authorities) now believe that kids who incur traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) may suffer far more than we know.
In fact, the full extent of their injuries may not appear until children are much older and start trying to handle more complex cognitive skills or emotional challenges. Always ask your doctor (and/or a psychologist) to run appropriate tests to help diagnose any new physical or psychological problems when they first appear.
Finally, if your child suffered any type of concussion, learn more about post-concussive syndrome. Be sure to also ask if any local medical provider or school currently provides brain-injured kids with the use of “concussion goggles” – these can help children more accurately describe their own symptoms after any major head injuries.
Be sure to contact your New York personal injury attorney if your child has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to another party’s negligence. We may need to file a lawsuit to help you recover for all of your child’s suffering and past medical expenses – and to provide for all future medical care.