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Shelly Leeke Law Firm, LLC

Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children

Almost half a million children between the ages of 0 and 14 years are treated in Emergency Rooms across the United States for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) annually. That is 35% of the 1.365 million emergency department visits made each year for TBIs. This does not include the many children who die from TBIs.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain that is caused by a bump, blow, jolt, or penetrating impact to the head that interrupts normal brain functions. This interruption can lead to periods of unconsciousness, dizziness, vomiting, mental disabilities, physical disabilities, or even death. TBIs range in severity from "mild", for example a concussion, to "severe." The term TBI is not used for a child born with a brain injury or who suffers a brain injury during birth. TBIs can be caused by falls, car accidents, or assaults.

Children who suffer a TBI often have personality changes because the injury to their brain has caused the brain to work differently. Many children will change the way they act, move and think, which will, more often than not, affect how the children perform in school. TBI can cause significant changes in a child's thinking and reasoning, understanding of words, memory, attentiveness, problem solving, physical activities, seeing, and hearing.

Many students who have suffered a TBI are thought to have and treated as if they have a learning disability, emotional disturbance, or mental retardation. Ultimately, these children to not receive the proper educational support they need. Children who suffer a TBI may not seem any different from children born with a mental disability, but their understanding of their problem is very different. Many children can often remember how they were before the injury and may have emotional problems adjusting to their new disability. Parents, friends, and teachers also have trouble adjusting to a child's disability. To help cope with these changes, the injured child and their parents may wish to seek counseling or group therapy.

To make the child's transition back into public life, parents should research what options the school has for the special education their child needs. And always remember, symptoms of TBIs' are not always static. Throughout a child's life, their mental, physical, and emotional disabilities may worsen or improve. Parents should always be ready for any change that may come along the way. Be sure to read our article "Seven Tips For Parents Of Children With TBIs."

Shelly Leeke
South Carolina Injury Lawyer

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