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How a Child’s Head Injury Could Impact Future Chances for Success

19

September

2016

children riding bikes

Children are back in school now and engaged in a variety of school-related activities and interests. They may be involved in school, intramural or recreational sports leagues or they may be spending time after school riding their bikes or playing in parks and playgrounds with their friends.

While these types of activities use up extra energy and are good for a child’s overall physical fitness and development, it is important for parents to be aware of the potential for accidents and injuries.

Head and brain injuries are some of the most common threats children face. The impact of these injuries can linger for years.

If your child has suffered this type of injury, the following is important information you should know about head and brain injuries and what you can do in order to give your child the best chance at future success.

Common Types of Childhood Head Injuries

According to Healthline, head injuries are a common type of injury. Depending on the force of the impact and how and where it occurred, the injury can be severe and disabling.

Among adults, these injuries often occur due to falls or car accidents. School, sports and recreational activities often are to blame when children are the victims.

Head injuries can result from being hit by sports equipment or from being tackled by another child while playing. They can result from falling off bikes or playground equipment or even due to acts of violence such as bullying.

Open head injuries, which involve a gash in the head and bleeding, are easier to detect than closed head injuries, which have signs that tend to be more subtle. However, closed head injuries may be the greater cause for alarm.

Common types of closed head injuries include:

  • Hematoma – Blood clotting in and around the brain
  • Hemorrhage – Uncontrolled bleeding in and around the brain area
  • Concussion – When the brain bounces off the hard lining of the skull
  • Edema – Swelling of the brain or surrounding tissues
  • Skull fracture – When the bones of the skull actually crack or break
  • Diffuse axonal injury – When damage to brain cells is widespread.

Any of the above injuries can be classified as traumatic brain injury, or TBI, which is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.

Immediate and long-term effects of traumatic brain injury in early childhood vary. They may include:

  • Mood changes
  • Memory loss
  • Problems with focusing
  • Poor balance or coordination.

While the immediate effects of a head injury are an important part of diagnosis, it is the lasting ramifications that have researchers concerned.

Long-Term Effects of Childhood Head Injuries

According to an August 2016 Los Angeles Times report on the long-term effects of childhood head injury, studies have shown that people who suffered brain injuries before the age of 25 tended to have:

  • Shorter lifespan
  • Increased difficulties in achieving success
  • Higher incidences of psychiatric illness, unemployment and disability.

Regardless of their upbringing or their parents’ resources, these people were more inclined to drop out of high school as well as to end up on welfare than those without a disability.

This may come as no surprise, considering the severe impacts a brain injury can have on a child’s early development.

Research on childhood head and brain injuries from the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) reports that the long-term effects of closed head injury become more pronounced as the child ages, affecting the child’s judgment, reasoning and the ability to develop socially acceptable behavior.

Additional impairments your child may suffer in the future as a result of a head or brain injury include:

  • Problems with headaches and sleeping disorders
  • Impaired muscle coordination
  • Problems concentrating or thinking fast
  • Impaired perception of events
  • Poor planning and communication skills
  • Denial of his or her condition
  • Being self-centered and lacking motivation
  • Low self-esteem and depression
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Problems with controlling emotions.

What You Can Do To Help Your Child

According to the BIAA, parents dealing with a child’s head or brain injury can take many steps to improve the child’s chances for success.

It is important to recognize that the child’s academic and emotional needs may be vastly different than before the injury. So, you need to work with both your child’s doctor as well as school personnel to make sure that you address those needs.

The BIAA suggests that you:

  • Work with your child’s doctor and medical providers to fully understand the physical, emotional and cognitive effects of the injury
  • Talk with parents in similar circumstances to find out how they cope and what works in their situation
  • Use local and online resources to educate yourself on treatment options
  • Use a three-ring binder to keep track of the treatments your child has received and jot down any concerns or questions you have for the doctor before your appointments
  • Have your school evaluate your child thoroughly and discuss any special educational needs your child may have.

The BIAA reminds parents that, as their child gets older, they should continue to seek out resources that can help them to deal with any issues that come up.

Parents can find a range of services to support their child in getting their college degree. They can also find job placement services which can help determine the best type of job to suit the child’s needs and abilities.

Get Help from a Chicago Head and Brain Injury Lawyer

If you have a child who has suffered a head or brain injury, contact our experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys today.

At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we understand the long-term effects of childhood head injuries. We can advise you on the best course of action for making sure that your child’s current and future needs are met.

We serve clients in Chicago, Waukegan and throughout Illinois. Call or contact us online today for a free consultation.

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