Brain injuries are different in children, adolescents and teenagers versus adults. For instance, a brain injury may not be readily apparent in children, as opposed to an adult, as the child’s brain is still developing. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of disability and death in children and adolescents in the United States. The CDC estimates that 564,000 children are seen each year in hospital emergency departments for brain injuries. Brain injuries result in an estimated 2,685 deaths, 37,000 hospitalizations and 435,000 emergency department visits per year for children ages 0 to 14 years.
Brain injuries are often classified as either mild, moderate or severe depending on symptoms, the results of a Glascow Coma Scale test, length of loss of consciousness, amnesia, cognitive disruption and other related symptoms.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the two age groups at greatest risk for TBIs are age 0-4 and 15-19. These age groups generally deal with toddlers (ages 0-4) who have sustained head injuries caused by falling or being impacted by an object that falls on their head in the home. Some of these injuries include falls from cribs, highchairs, playground equipment and defective dressers or chest of drawers. Another age group at risk are adolescents ages 15-19. Adolescents are often injured while participating in sporting activities or driving accidents. These injuries put teens at greater risk for brain injuries.
The human brain continues to develop until about age 25. Although the size of a child’s brain at age 7 is about 95% that of an adult’s, teenager and children’s brains are physically different than adult brains.1 As a result, children at the middle school and the high school levels are at a greater risk for serious brain injuries since the brain has not yet reached maturity. Studies show that a child’s immature brain is more vulnerable to the effects of a brain injury and takes longer to recover than adult brain injuries.
Once of the greatest risks for a child or teen with a brain injury who has sustained a head injury is a subsequent brain injury. Multiple brain injuries pose a very significant risk for children and teens. Dr. Jeffrey Barth stated to www.brainline.org that if a child’s brain doesn’t get to recover properly from one concussion before sustaining another concussion, even a seemingly mild one, the damage can much more severe or, sometimes, even fatal.2
Some of the effects of brain injuries in children include physical symptoms such as impaired speech, vision, hearing, headaches, seizures, balance, fatigue; cognitive impairments such as short term memory problems, attention deficits, writing, judgment, planning, communicating; and/or emotion impairments such as social behavior, mood swings, self-centeredness, lack of motivation, anxiety, depression and lowered self-esteem (among many other symptoms).
Griggs Injury Law, LLC attorney has years of experience handling traumatic brain injury cases and helping victims and their families cope with the devastating results of the injuries. Further, Annette Griggs is one of the few female attorneys in the States of Missouri and Kansas who only represents injured victims, including those with brain injuries. Griggs Injury Law, LLC is licensed in both Missouri and Kansas and can help survivors of personal injuries in the Kansas City metro area and all across Missouri and Kansas. For an appointment, please call 816-474-0202 to speak with Annette Griggs about your case.
1 http://neuro.wustl.edu/aboutus/facultybiographies/petersen; Dr. Steven E. Petersen of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO and his colleagues scanned the brains of 210 subjects ranging from 7 to 31 years old. Researchers set the lower limit for study subjects at 7 years of age because the brain is approximately 95 percent of its adult size at this age. Recovery for children from a severe traumatic brain injury can be a gradual and extremely challenging process for all involved. Progress varies depending on the injury and the child and sometimes the longer the time from the injury date, the more deficits the injured child will have to fact become apparent to their parents and caregivers.