Attorneys Helping Children With Brain Injuries in Accidents
Almost 500,000 children suffer from traumatic brain injuries every year in the United States.
These injuries are among the leading causes of death or long-term neurologic impairments in the young. About 18% of all traumatic brain related emergency room visits involve children ages zero to four years old.
Traumatic brain injuries are the result of trauma or a blow to the head. Depending on the extent of the damage and the area affected, these injuries can vary greatly. Consequences can include changes affecting thinking, learning, behavior, emotions, language, and sensations.
In some aspects, it can be difficult to determine the extent of a childhood brain injury because it is more difficult to measure the loss of brain function in a child compared to an adult. For adults, doctors can reference prior academic records, IQ scores, and job histories. In addition, some aspects of child brain injury may not become apparent until years after the injury. This is because a child’s brain continues to develop and brain injury can cause disturbances in the growth of the frontal lobes.
Childhood brain injuries are especially dangerous because they put the child at risk for developing epilepsy or some later-in-life brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. This is in part due to the inflammatory response that occurs after a brain injury. This uncontrolled inflammation can lead to further brain injury.
The leading causes of childhood traumatic brain injuries include: car accidents, unintentional falls, sporting injuries, and child abuse. Prevention is the best tool for brain injuries. Parents can help protect their children by requiring them to wear bicycle helmets, providing supervision, childproofing the home, and properly restraining children in vehicles.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), car accidents are the number one killer of children between the ages of one and fourteen. The majority of these deaths were because the child was unrestrained or improperly restrained.
According to the Pediatrics, infants should ride in rear-facing car safety seats until they outgrow the weight and height allowances for the chair or at least until they are one year old and weigh at least 20 pounds.
Then, when toddlers/preschool children outgrow the car seat, they should sit in a forward-facing seat with a full harness. School-age children should use booster seats until adult seat belts fit correctly, which is usually when a child is between eight and twelve years old and at least 4’9” inches tall. Then, until the child is thirteen years old, children should ride in the back seat with a lap and shoulder seat belt.
Children are at risk for a variety of injuries including traumatic brain injuries. Brain injuries could affect your child’s brain development and learning and even increase the chances of your child developing brain disorders later in life including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
It is devastating injury for a child to suffer a brain injury before their brain has a chance to fully develop. Adequate supervision and accident prevention help reduce the risk of dangerous brain injuries.
Children Memorial Hospital: New Hope for Children With Brain Injuries
Medline Plus: Head Injury
Medline Plus: Traumatic Brain Injury
Google Books: Traumatic Head Injury In Children
Neurosurgery: Predictors of Survival and Severity of Disability After Severe Brain Injury in Children
National Institute of Neurological Disorders: Traumatic Brain Injury Information
Mayo Clinic: Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain Injury: Brain Injury in Children