Children are more susceptible to brain injuries, as their brains are still developing. Children with serious brain injuries may face lifelong complications and may require extensive medical treatment. Many child brain injuries are preventable and only occur due to some form of negligence.
If your child has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or another type of child brain injury that was caused by negligence, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. You can learn more about your legal options by contacting the Indiana child brain injury lawyers of the Fountain Law Firm.
Some child brain injuries are preventable and only occur due to the negligence of a third party. When a child injury directly results from negligence, the child’s family may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent third party.
Some common examples of personal injury lawsuits filed for child brain injuries include:
Sadly, child brain injuries are among the most common causes of death and disability for children in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 62,000 children are hospitalized each year with traumatic brain injuries. These injuries vary in severity, with some children making full recoveries and others suffering lifelong complications related to their injuries.
Concussions are traumatic brain injuries caused by blows to the head or a blow to the body that forces the head and brain to move back and forth rapidly. These sudden movements sometimes cause the brain to move around inside the skull, which can create changes in brain chemistry and damage brain cells.
While concussions are not typically life-threatening, they are serious brain injuries. A concussion can impair brain function and cause issues with memory, concentration, coordination, and balance.
Concussions can be more difficult to diagnose in young children, as they often cannot adequately describe the symptoms. This is why a child should see a doctor after any head injury.
Contusions are bruises on the brain, which cause bleeding and swelling inside of the brain in the area where the child took a blow to the head. Occasionally, a contusion may appear on the opposite side of the head due to the brain colliding with the skull.
Contusions are often caused by direct blows to the head, whiplash in motor vehicle accidents, or the violent shaking of the child. All of these traumatic events can cause the brain to hit the sides of the skull, which can cause the tearing of tissues, internal lining, and blood vessels.
Skull fractures are breaks in the skull bone, and there are four main types of skull fractures:
A serious child brain injury can happen any time a child suffers a blow or other traumatic injury to the head, and occasionally from blows to the body. There are several common causes of childhood brain injuries.
Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries among all groups, as they account for almost half of all TBI-related hospitalizations. However, children and older adults are especially vulnerable to fall-related TBIs. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), approximately 55% of child brain injuries are caused by falls.
Children can suffer traumatic brain injuries when falling from beds and ladders, down staircases, in the shower or bath, on a slippery surface such as a snow or ice-covered sidewalk, and in any other type of fall that results in a strong impact with the ground.
Car accidents are another one of the top causes of traumatic brain injuries for people of all ages. The impact of a car accident can sometimes result in a severe blow to the head for one or more passengers.
This strong impact can also cause the brain to collide with the skull, resulting in brain damage. Overall, the severity of head injuries suffered in car accidents varies, from bruises and lacerations to mild concussions to severe and permanent brain injuries.
According to Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, children are at a higher risk of head injuries during the spring and summer. This is because many children frequently spend time outdoors playing sports and engaging in other physical activities, such as riding bikes, skateboarding, and roller skating. Falls are a risk during all of these activities, and these falls can cause serious head and brain injuries.
Children are also at a much higher risk of a concussion if they play physical sports, such as football, hockey, soccer, and basketball. Head and brain injuries can happen when players collide with each other when a child suffers blunt trauma when being struck with equipment like a baseball or soccer ball, or during falls.
Tragically, physical violence in the form of child abuse is another common cause of brain injuries in children. According to the NICHD, physical abuse is the number one cause of TBI-related death in children ages 4 and under.
The symptoms of child brain injuries vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. Some symptoms appear right away, while others are delayed. These symptoms can be physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep-based. Sometimes symptoms may improve but then get worse later. Depending on the injury, symptoms can last weeks, months, or permanently.
Physical symptoms of brain injuries in children include:
The cognitive symptoms of a child’s brain injury include:
The following emotional signs could indicate a child brain injury:
The following changes in a child’s sleep routine could indicate a brain injury: