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Steps to Take If Your Child Suffers a Brain Injury

sports injuryChildren often hurt themselves and sometimes hit their heads causing head trauma.

If your child suffers a brain injury through a fall, car crash, bicycle fall, sports-related trauma or other event, you should treat it very seriously.

Sometimes it's just a little bump or bruise on the head, but in some cases head injuries can be very dangerous or even fatal if left untreated. So how do you know what to do?

Here are the immediate steps you should take to deal with any brain injury:

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents contact their child's healthcare provider for advice for anything more than a light bump on the head. If there are any doubts, call to make sure.

In addition to calling, if your child exhibits any of the following symptoms they should be evaluated by a healthcare provider. The evaluation will determine if there is serious brain injury and what kind of treatment for the brain injury your child may need. Get your child evaluated if they experience:

  • vomiting
  • seizures (convulsion)
  • loss of consciousness after the injury
  • a severe headache or the headache worsens with time
  • changes in behavior (e.g., lethargic, difficult to wake, extremely irritable, or other abnormal behavior)
  • unusual stumbling, difficulty walking, clumsiness, or lack of coordination
  • has a hard time talking or seeing
  • confused or slurred speech
  • dizziness
  • blood or watery fluid oozes form the nose or ears
  • cut will not stop bleeding after applying pressure for 10 minutes
  • develops a stiff neck
  • cannot stop crying or looks sicker
  • has weakness or numbness involving any part of the body

When speaking with a health care professional, parents should try to describe how the injury occurred, if possible, including what the child was doing before the traumatic brain injury and how he/she responded after the injury. If there is any reason to suspect that another adult or child intentionally injured the child, this should be discussed with the healthcare provider.

One last piece of advice about something you do not need to do - there is no need to keep your child awake after a head injury. A child who is more rested and calm will behave more normally and will be easier to assess.

We hope these tips will help your family stay safe and prevent further injury. Most head injuries are not too serious, but if your child experienced a severe brain injury due to the negligence or criminal behavior of another individual, you are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other expenses that occur as a result of the injury.

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Types of Head Injuries

  • Concussions: This is when an individual suffers a blow to the head and experiences an instant loss of awareness or alertness. Some victims of concussions may lose consciousness for seconds, minutes or even hours. Recent studies show that those who suffer more than one concussion, especially as a result of sports injuries, may face long-term consequences such as victims of more severe traumatic brain injuries.
  • Skull fractures: A skull fracture is a break or crack in the skull bone. Individuals may suffer a linear skull fracture (a break that does not result in bone movement), depressed skull fracture (part of the skull is sunken in from the trauma), a diastatic skull fracture (breaks along the suture lines in the skull) or basilar skull fracture (break in the bone from the base of the skull).
  • Intracranial hematoma: This is when the victim suffers a blood clot in or around the brain. Depending on the type of hematoma injury, the victim may experience minor to life-threatening symptoms.
  • Diffuse axonal injury: This is when the brain is injured due to a shaking movement. Diffuse axonal injuries can occur as the result of a car crash, a fall-related accident or due to other causes such as shaken baby syndrome.
  • If you or a loved one have suffered from any of the above injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, know your rights and contact an attorney today.

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