Traumatic brain injuries are one of the leading causes of death and disability in infants and children. Whether they trip going down the stairs, fall off their bike or collide with an opponent during a soccer game, your child’s head is vulnerable to injury. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at youth traumatic brain injuries.
TBIs in Kids
According to statistics, children are among the most at-risk population for traumatic brain injuries. Statistics show that the groups most prone to traumatic brain injuries are infants through age 4, and teens between the age of 15 and 19. Infants are most at-risk for traumatic brain injuries by accidental falls or physical abuse, while teens are more likely to suffer a severe head injury during athletic activity or in a car accident. In fact, medical findings suggest that more than 500,000 children are seen in the emergency department each year with a TBI.
Adults are pretty good at monitoring themselves for a lingering head injury, but it can be tougher to spot a head injury in kids. Also, there are different symptoms to look for depending on their age. If you know your teen hit their head, some symptoms to monitor for include:
- Complaints of intense or more frequent headaches
- Difficult speaking
- Blurred vision
- Hearing loss
- Short-term memory loss
- Difficultly concentrating
- Difficulty reading or writing
- Sudden mood changes
- Sensitivity to light
If your infant struck their head, they may not be able to communicate their symptoms, so keep an eye out for:
- A change in eating habits
- Persistent or continued crying
- Dilated pupils
- Change in sleep patterns
- Loss of interest in toys or activities.
- Inability to pay attention
Even if symptoms don’t arise right away, but you witnessed your child strike their head on a hard surface, it’s probably a good idea to have them examined by a licensed neurologist. Traumatic brain injuries or severe concussions can linger for a long time, and it can affect your child’s ability to succeed both in and out of the classroom. Traumatic brain injuries should never be ignored, so speak to a professional if you believe your child may have suffered a head injury.