Traumatic brain injury to young children is commonplace. Studies have shown that one out of every five children will experience some form of TBI by age 15. The group at highest risk for TBI is children 0-4 years of age.
With a young child, the signs of a brain injury may be hard to spot or even non-existent. That bump on the head should never be taken lightly. Left untreated, a head injury that was thought not to be serious can become detrimental to the child’s future development and learning. Brain injury can also occur during or shortly after childbirth, especially in difficult deliveries. The resulting effects can be life altering for both the child and the parents.
Doctors and nurses may not recognize the signs of a brain injury. Cerebral palsy, a permanent disability, can result from a difficult delivery. The signs of cerebral palsy may not appear until further growth and development occurs. The resulting issues may vary greatly in severity.
Another cause of traumatic brain injury in children is referred to as shaken baby syndrome. This is a diffuse brain trauma that occurs when the brain strikes the inside of the skull as a result of a violent back and forth motion.
The Warning Signs
There are certain signs of brain injury to young children that a parent should recognize.
Swelling of the scalp or forehead – A bump that forms on the head may or may not indicate something traumatic but it should always be taken seriously. Cartoons in the past have made light of these bumps but they are often indicative of an underlying brain injury. Toddlers are particularly vulnerable to hitting their head by falling or running into something.
Frequent headaches – A child who complains of frequent headaches or holds his head pain may be transmitting a sign of a brain injury.
Seizures – Seizures occur after an injury or from other serious conditions such as epilepsy. Any head injury should be followed up by a CT scan.
Concussion – Much publicity has surrounded concussions lately with their long term effects being studied by the NFL and other sports authorities. Concussions are serious and can lead to complications, weeks, months or even years later. A child who receives a concussion should be treated by a medical professional, especially if they lost consciousness or experience nausea after an injury. A child with a concussion should not be allowed to return to play until the injury has healed completely. A secondary concussion can have devastating results and can even lead to death.
Any of the above indications require that the child receive immediate medical attention. Ignoring warning signs can result in future learning disability, motor skill impairment and personality changes.
Seek the Best Help Immediately
Traumatic brain injury to young children can occur during or shortly after birth, in the home or on the playground or even at school. They may also be the result of negligence by medical personnel, teachers, baby sitters or anyone left in charge of the child. It is imperative that parents be constantly vigilant and alert to recognize the signs of negligence or abuse. If you suspect that your child has received a brain injury due to the negligence or abuse of another person, first seek immediate medical attention and follow up by contacting an attorney experienced in the area of brain injuries. The long term cost of medical treatments and rehabilitation can be overwhelming and you may be entitled to compensation to recover those costs. Most brain injuries can be helped through therapy and rehabilitation but you should not have to bear the high cost alone. Consult with a skilled attorney to evaluate your case and to discuss your options.
Dolman Law Group is a personal injury law firm specializing in traumatic brain injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652