A Traumatic Brain Injury, (TBI), is any injury to the head that corrupts the normal functioning of the brain. This could either be a violent blow or bump, which can lead to a sudden jolt, or the type of penetrating injury which goes through the skull as well as the brain tissue. TBI’s have the capacity to range from mild (commonly referred to as a concussion) to severe in its potential outcomes of unconsciousness or memory loss. The people most at risk of traumatic brain injury are children, especially newborns to 4-year-olds. Next would be young adults, especially those between ages 15 and 24.
Those who find out they have mild to moderate brain injuries are two times more likely to have developed issues when it comes to their attention span, and those with severe injuries are five times more likely to develop secondary ADHD.
The effects of TBI on children differ in more than a few ways from the effects on an injured adult due to the fact that the child’s brain is not fully developed , therefore an injury may alter the course of growth of the brain and its functions. It is unclear whether or not this works in the child’s favor. Because the child’s brain is less structured than the typical adult’s, its malleability gives off hope that damaged tissue and areas of deficiency will be eluded in the child’s brain by other sections taking over for these areas that no longer function properly.
After a brain injury, previously learned information, which implements essential building blocks for consecutive learning, is maintained and utilized. Despite this being mentioned, in extremely young children, these building blocks are relatively few, handicapping them as learners in comparison to similarly brain-injured older kids or adolescents, who have greater basis of intact information.
The results of a TBI on the child can go unnoticed immediately upon injury, but only become more obvious in the child’s life when, during the course of the child’s development, affected skills are to be demonstrated. For example, issues surrounding abstract thinking may not be apparent until the child with a TBI hits an age when abstract thinking becomes a part of the realm of possibility for any child at that developmental level.
Because of this lag in the surfacing of problems, the cause of the problems (the TBI) may not be established. It is typical that most problems are handled inappropriately as if they are due to learning disabilities or emotional causes. This misconception by teachers, parents, and others can potentially devastate the child, since the strategies meant to assist a child with TBI are separate from those used to address similar issues which stem from other causes.
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A child can suffer in two ways: feeling diminished or confused because no is aware of what is wrong, and being hindered as a student trying to learn because of the lack of nurturing incorporated in the process of learning based on understanding his or her real needs.
Serious internal head injuries may have the potential to become life-threatening. These include a broken skull bone, torn blood vessels, or damage to the brain itself. Infants and young children with brain injuries might not be able to communicate the headaches, sensory problems, confusion and similar symptoms they may be experiencing.
It can be hard to know how serious a head injury is, so it’s always wise to call your doctor.
Symptoms and How to Act
Make sure to dial 911 if your child reveals any of these symptoms following a head injury:
- unconsciousness for more than a matter of seconds
- irregular breathing patterns
- serious wound or scar
- bleeding or clear fluid from the nose, ear, or mouth
- dysfunction of speech or vision
- pupils of unequal proportion
- weakness or paralysis
- neck pain or stiffness
If your child appears to be unconscious:
- It is advised not to try to move your child in the case that there is a neck or spine injury.
- Call for help.
- Turn a child who is vomiting or having a seizure onto his or her side while attempting to keep the head and neck straight. This will help prevent the possibility of choking and helps with protection in case of neck and spine injury.
If your child appears to be conscious:
- Try your best to keep your child calm and still.
- If there is any blood, apply a clean or sterile bandage.
- Do not attempt to cleanse the wound, which can make bleeding worse and/or cause serious complications if the skull is fractured.
- Do not apply direct pressure to the wound if you suspect the skull is fractured.
- Do not remove any object that’s stuck in the wound.
It is nearly impossible to prevent kids from injury, but there are methods to lessen the chances of head blows.
It can be as simple as buckling your child into your vehicle using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (depending on the child’s height, weight, and age). For the utmost protection, infants and toddlers should be buckled in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat, until they end up reaching the upper weight or height limits of their seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.
Furthermore, it is also recommended to make sure that your home is childproofed to prevent household accidents, and that your kids always remember to put on the proper headgear and safety equipment when riding their bikes, skating, skateboarding, snowboarding or skiing, and playing sports.
Following a head injury, do not allow your child to partake in rough play or sports again until the doctor approves. If your child reinjures the brain while it is still in the healing process, it will take an even longer amount of time to fully heal.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a Fort Lauderdale raumatic brain injury, it is important to know who to contact for the sake of you or the patient’s personal brain injury legal case. In areas of South Florida, you can find a traumatic brain injury attorney at the office of Wolf & Pravato and receive a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation. We can look into your unique case and go in full detail of your rights and options.
Having an experienced lawyer in the area of brain injury can make all the difference in your specific case. The legal team at Wolf & Pravato is here to help guide those with various brain injuries in their traumatic brain injury lawsuit cases. Our ultimate goal is to give our clients the resources that they require in order to recover as fully as possible from the conflicting outcomes of such a traumatic brain injury. It is better to act sooner rather than later.