Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children

Can brain injuries in children lead to learning problems?

Research now shows that a child’s brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. Before this time, several major parts of the brain are still growing, evolving, and rewiring. In fact, teenagers will process information using their amygdala until reaching their 20s, with adults instead of thinking with their prefrontal cortex. An injury to a still evolving brain can have devastating consequences on a child. Our Rio Rancho, New Mexico brain injury attorneys explore the incidence of childhood TBIs and potential implications on their behavior and development

Rate of Brain Injuries in Children and Adolescents

Brain injury is considered a leading cause of death and disability in children and teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC data reveals that over 62,000 children will suffer from brain injuries severe enough to require hospitalizations each year. Another over 500,000 children are seen at emergency rooms across the country and released. Nearly 3,000 children and teens will die due to brain injuries annually.

The primary causes of traumatic brain injuries among children are car accidents, falls, and sports injuries. Children, with their still developing bones and brains, are at increased risk of serious injury in a car accident. Parents can reduce this risk by ensuring their child is secured in the appropriate car seat or wearing a seatbelt in the back seat, as dictated by the age of the child. Parents can guard against falls by watching children as they play and protect against sports injuries by making sure their child has the appropriate protective gear.

Impact of a TBI in a Child

Children could exhibit symptoms different from those in adults if they have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Young children may have difficulty expressing their feelings and could instead display excessive sleepiness or sleeplessness, vomiting, and mood swings. Doctors used to believe that children would recover quicker from brain injuries than adults due to the plasticity of youth. Now, however, researchers have found the opposite to be true. In fact, a brain injury has a more devastating impact on a developing child than it would on an adult.

Children or adolescents may continue to exhibit symptoms from a traumatic brain injury for years to come. Children could suffer from learning difficulties if certain areas of the brain are affected. They could further experience social or memory difficulties that may last a lifetime, depending on the severity of the brain injury. Any parent of a child who has suffered a TBI due to the negligence of another should consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Posted in: Brain Injuries