Traumatic brain injuries in children

Posted on December 14, 2018

In a recent blog, we covered the severity of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its symptoms. In this post, we wanted to focus specifically on what TBIs can do to our little ones.

Knowing when to spot the symptoms of a TBI in a young child is important when they can’t communicate that they have a headache, are dealing with sensory problems, are experiencing confusion or any of the other symptoms we’ve already discussed.

Parents who are concerned their child suffered a TBI due to a car accident or other injury can look for these symptoms:

  • Change in eating or nursing habits
  • Unusual irritability or more easily irritable than normal
  • Persistent crying or the inability to console
  • Change in the ability to pay attention
  • Sleep habit changes, such as sleeping less frequently or much longer than normal
  • A sad or depressed mood
  • Drowsiness
  • Losing interest in their favorite toys, games and other activities
  • Seizures

Diagnosing TBIs in children is even more critical than for adults. TBIs are the leading cause of disability and death in infants to children who are four years old, as well as teens who are 15 to 19 years old. Incidences of TBIs are also slightly higher among boys than girls. It is estimated that 145,000 children and adolescents are living with lasting cognitive, physical or behavioral effects from a TBI.

Emergency rooms are well prepared to help children who may have a TBI, as half a million children are admitted to emergency rooms due to TBIs every year. If you see any of these symptoms in your child and think it could be the result of a blow or jolt to the head or body, seek medical attention immediately.