Young Children Especially Prone to Traumatic Brain Injury

 

As the weather starts getting warmer, more and more young children will be playing outside once again. If you are the parent of a young child, it is important to be aware of the risk of traumatic brain injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children under the age of four fall in the high risk category for traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injuries are generally caused by a jarring blow to the head. In young children, this generally occurs after a fall. Babies and young children are particularly prone to falling since their sense of balance is not fully developed. As young children increase their participation in outdoor playground activities due to the nice weather, these falls are likely to become more frequent.

Most of the time, these falls are not serious enough to result in a serious brain injury; however, if your child’s head hits the ground or a sharp object such as a table edge with enough of an impact, a brain injury can develop.

Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries are often difficult to diagnose. In many cases, it takes time for symptoms to appear, and if your child’s verbal skills are not fully developed, it may be difficult to communicate these symptoms to you. Therefore, it is always a good idea to err on the side of caution and have your child examined by a doctor after a serious fall.

Time is of the essence when treating a traumatic brain injury. In order to prevent an increased risk of long term damage, it is important that treatment begin within 60-90 minutes of the injury. If your child exhibits the following symptoms after a fall, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Sudden drowsiness
  • An inability to remain alert
  • Difficulty recognizing familiar people or places
  • Sudden whining or irritability
  • Loss of interest in favorite toys
  • Numbness on one side of the body
  • Vomiting
  • Neck pain

It is important to remember that a traumatic brain injury is a serious health issue that should not be taken lightly. Your child’s development may depend on it.

Written by Andrew Martin: professional blogger and guru of misfortune.