Concussions and Children: The Unseen Dangers

Media and medical professionals alike are calling attention to the dangers associated with head injuries in children. The injuries are not uncommon and can result from a range of accidents, including everything from football hits and fender benders to tumbling down the stairs.

Although concussions are not uncommon, they should be taken seriously. Research confirms that the occurrence of these mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can have devastating consequences.

A New Focus on Concussions: Researchers and Medical Professionals Voice Concern

CNN recently aired a special exploring the dangers of mild TBIs, like concussions, in high school football. Chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta brought attention not only to the tragic deaths which can result from repeated concussions, but also to new research highlighting the long term effects of these injuries.

There is growing evidence which supports a connection between concussions and Alzheimer's. Evidence is now available which shows that the protein common to Alzheimer's has also presented in the brains of teenage football players who have experienced multiple concussions.

Similarly, the American Journal of Pediatrics recently published a study on the connection between headaches and concussions. Ultimately, it determined that children with concussions were more likely to experience post traumatic headaches then those who had not experienced a brain injury.

The study also found that teenage girls were more likely than boys to experience an association between the injury and headaches with migraine symptoms.

Ways Traumatic Brain Injuries Impact Overall Health

Regardless of gender, reoccurrence of posttraumatic headaches can negatively impact performance at school, interfere with socialization and are associated with an overall decrease in quality of life. Headaches are only one TBI symptom which can negatively impact a child's overall health. Other health concerns include:

  • Epilepsy
  • Brain swelling
  • Cardiac and lung changes
  • Skull fractures

These injuries can lead to death, hearing loss, seizures, reduced coordination and communication problems.

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

The leading causes of TBIs include falls, motor vehicle accidents, traumatic impacts or "struck by" events and assaults. Falls are the leading cause among children under the age of 14 followed closely by a child colliding with a moving or stationary object, known as a "struck by" event.

Whether the injury was caused by a motor vehicle accident or other form of negligence, remedies are available to cover medical and rehabilitative costs as well as pain and suffering. If you or a loved one experiences a head injury, it is important to contact an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer to ensure that all your rights and remedies are protected.