Traumatic Brain Injury: A Serious Threat to Youth
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results when a physical injury, such as a blow, jolt, bump or even a penetrating object, causes the brain to collide with the inside of the skull. TBI is the leading cause of disability and death for children and adolescents in America. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 1.7 million Americans sustain traumatic brain injuries each year, more than 600,000 of these incidents involve children either being seen in emergency rooms or admitted to hospitals.
For young people, TBIs can be caused by many things. High impact sports, such as soccer, football and hockey, are commonly linked to TBIs. High speed activities, such as skating, skiing, ATV riding, biking and skateboarding are other TBI culprits. Children who are victims of physical violence or abuse, including shaken baby syndrome, can sustain TBIs. Youngsters involved in motor vehicle accidents may have TBIs, as well. Risky behaviors such as horseplay, pranks and stunts can also result in TBIs.
The human brain is the most important and complex organ in the human body. It controls all bodily functions, stores our memories and houses our thoughts. Injuries to this crucial organ can manifest as something minor, like dizziness, but may extend to more serious problems, such as changes in personality, sensory loss , or even paralysis.
Since TBIs can have serious consequences, parents should encourage their children to take sports and recreational safety precautions, such as wearing protective gear like helmets. Coaches, athletes and parents should be aware that re-injury risks exist and take special care. Parents should also abide by safety laws, including using car restraints-car seats and seat belts-when transporting kids. Individuals should set safety rules in their residences and make their homes kid-safe. In the event of accidents or injuries, seek medical care immediately.
While children are more resilient than adults, TBI can still have long-term effects on their lives. Education and caution can help reduce the risks of a lasting and life-altering brain injury.
If you or your child is the victim of a brain injury, you may be burdened with serious medical costs, as well as pain and suffering. If the harm resulted from a product defect or someone’s negligence it is wise to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney so that the financial burden can be shifted onto the shoulders of the at-fault party.