How will I know if my child has a TBI?

Car accidents, child abuse, falls and sports injuries are all culprits of one of the leading causes of death and disability in youth under the age of 19: traumatic brain injury. The Brain Injury Alliance states that, while many people survive brain injuries, the effects on children are less understood since their brains are still developing and changing. If your child has suffered a TBI in Ohio, the results may not be seen for years.

 

Every year, TBI leads to around 435,000 hospital emergency room visits for children under the age of 19. Of those, 37,000 may require hospitalization and 2,685 end in death. Older teenagers aged 15 to 19 years account for another 25,000 hospitalizations and almost 130,000 more emergency room visits.

 

Sometimes, the symptoms of an injury are very apparent, but in some TBI cases they are not. This is why it is important for any parent, coach, teacher or other adult who has responsibility over children to be aware of what the signs are. Some of the most common include:

 

  •          Seizures
  •          Fatigue
  •          Speech, vision or hearing impairment
  •          Muscle spasticity
  •          Poor motor coordination
  •          Headaches

 

In addition to these physical symptoms, there can also be major or minor cognitive changes. Some things to watch for include any problems with perception, short-term memory loss, decreased communication skills and a difficulty paying attention, reading, writing or concentrating.

 

Many adults do not realize that there can also often be emotional impairments that result from a TBI. These can include anxiety and depression but may also manifest in mood swings or a difficulty controlling emotions. Even feelings of denial, restlessness, self-centeredness or lack of motivation can be a sign that your child has suffered a TBI.

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