Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is severe for anyone. However, for kids and teens, who are still developing cognitively and physically, a head injury can be even more devastating.
When a child suffers a brain injury, they may be stuck with a lifetime of treatment or reduced brain function.
According to the CDC, TBI is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adolescents in the United States. Very young children, ages 0 to 4, and teens ages 15 to 19 are particularly susceptible. The Brain Injury Association of America offers some troubling statistics:
- On average, 62,000 children age 0 to 19 sustain brain injuries each year from things such as car accidents and sports injuries.
- 2,685 children age 0 to 14 die each year from TBI.
- There are, on average, 435,000 emergency room visits for TBI in kids age 0-14 every year.
While the injuries can be devastating, sometimes the effects aren't immediately obvious. The injuries can manifest over months and years, causing pain and agony for the child and family.
If there is an accident or trauma, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. While some symptoms will be obvious in an accident, there are other things to monitor in the future such as speech, vision, hearing and cognitive impairments, including memory loss or loss of communication skills.
Every case of TBI is serious. If you have a child or teen who has suffered a head injury, it is important to get medical care for the short and long term.