Head injuries to kids account for nearly 3,000 deaths and 470,000 hospital visits each year in the United States. Here in South Carolina, I have seen first hand how a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can impact children and their families. Many times, this trauma results from falls, car wrecks, or contact sports.
The most important aspect of treating a head injury is identification. This not only depends on doctors and diagnostics, but families and schools. Warning signs of a brain injury include:
- changes in mood or behavior;
- changes in speech;
- slowed reaction time; and
- difficulty learning new concepts.
Children experiencing any of these symptoms after an accident should receive immediate medical treatment. Contrary to popular belief, children do not always recover more quickly from a head injury than adults; the same injuries can actually be more devastating for children. Likewise, a negative CT scan or MRI does not rule out the possibility of serious harm.
Since a child’s brain is still developing, problems caused by trauma may not appear for years after the accident. While adults normally show cognitive deficits within hours of the event, it is often impossible to know the full extent of a head injury to a child until they fully develop. Trauma incurred at a young age may cause delays in social, emotional, and cognitive development later in life. For these reasons, it is important that treatment of a young person’s TBI is ongoing and carefully monitored by both family and doctors.
Though even a mild TBI can be devastating, proper diagnosis and treatment usually lead to recovery. If you have questions about any aspect of a head injury - from which pediatric neurologists I would trust to treat my family to your legal rights as a parent - call me today at (803) 790-2800. Our office is centrally located in Columbia, SC, allowing us to handle cases and help families across South Carolina.
My job as a lawyer for injured children is not simply to represent young people, it is also to educate families in prevention, treatment, and recovery. Please think of me as a resource, and know that I am here to help.