Many parents take care to prevent child injury. From helmets, to car seats, and even safety gates on stairs, children are often kept protected with various safety devices. But sometimes, even for the most cautious parents and kids, accidents can happen – and when they do, traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be problematic for the child’s lifetime.
Now, according to a new study, if a child sustains a traumatic brain injury, a lifetime of problems can ensue – from communication problems to trouble with self-care. The study also explained that a traumatic brain injury could also contribute to “substantial long-term reduction” in the quality of the child’s life.
The method of prevention is clear: “Many of these injuries can be prevented by using bicycle helmets, and kids being buckled up in seatbelts, making sure there are gates on stairways,” said study author Dr. Frederick Rivara, professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle. But nevertheless, accidents can still happen, especially if the child is subjected to an unsafe environment at school, in sports, or in a car accident that was ruled as someone else’s fault.
The study compared 729 children under 18 years old who were at once treated for brain injuries at emergency rooms between 2007 and 2008. Most of the injuries were a result of car accidents and falls – fortunately, very few brain injuries occurred as a result of abuse.
For the children who were monitored, functionality before and after the accident were analyzed b y tests that evaluated various skill sets and behaviors. The study also included data on any child depression or trouble concentrating.
In addition to psychological analyses, the children were also evaluated on whether or not they could “have a conversation, discuss a topic,” in addition to their daily activities. For children who experienced a TBI compared to those who did not, everyday activities were difficult for those children including day-to-day life, sports, and school activities. Children with a TBI had “a lower quality of life than children undergoing active treatment for cancer, the researchers said.” That’s why it’s never been so important to identify a TBI as soon as possible to treat your injured child.
How to recognize a traumatic brain injury
Knowing how to recognize a traumatic brain injury can help you seek appropriate medical care as soon as possible. If your child has a head injury, it’s important to recognize their symptoms and act as soon as possible to help alleviate any potential long-term effects. A traumatic brain injury can cause:
- Incessant crying
- Child complaints of neck pain
- Child complaints of headache/head pain
- Irregular walking
If you feel your child has been injured in a fall or accident, and you suspect it is due to someone else’s fault, call the Law Offices of Michael Pines. Every personal injury lawyer at our firm is dedicated to recovering the maximum compensation possible for your claim. Call us now at 1-800-655-6585 for a free, confidential legal evaluation.
Enrolling your child in school sports is a great choice for many reasons: it increases the child’s exercise and activity levels, encourages team playing, identifies areas of leadership, and builds confidence. But despite the safety efforts on behalf of parents and teachers, children’s injuries still happen—and more commonly, these injuries often come in the form of traumatic brain injury.
But now, a new study at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that parents, teachers, and coaches have taken a proactive approach to treating children who may be affected with traumatic brain injury (TBI), Time magazine reports. The conclusion comes after the study revealed that hospitals saw a spike in treating TBIs from 2001 to 2009. The increase in treatment, however, was not attributed to an increase in injuries; rather, researchers have attributed the spike to increased awareness of TBIs in children. Had there been a true increase in incidence, there would have also been a subsequent increase in hospital admittance. Fortunately, there was no increase in hospital admission for those who reported a possible TBI.
“These injuries were always there. It’s not that there are more injuries now. It’s just that now people are getting treatment that they weren’t getting before,” Steven Marshall, interim director of the University of North Carolina’s Injury Prevention and Research Center, told USA Today.
The reporting of head injuries had increased from roughly 153,000 cases in 2011 to just over 248,000 in 2009, generally due to contact sports like football, basketball, baseball, and soccer. However, playground injury attributed for most visits to the ER for children under 10 years of age.
Over recent years, contact sports have been known to produce serious injury, especially traumatic brain injury. Baseball and football players are especially prone to injury due to the velocity of balls which may make contact with a player’s head, and rough bodily contact which can result in a TBI or concussion.
The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research estimates that concussions are unfortunately all too common for children who are involved in contact sports as nearly 500,000 concussions are reported annually.
Safety is the best prevention against a child’s traumatic brain injury
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury. Consider the following tips when considering contact sports for your child.
Always enforce the helmet rule
Remember, helmets are not optional gear: they are an absolute must for helping to prevent head injury. Whether your child is bicycling or playing football – even recreationally – always enforce a helmet rule for your child. Coaches should also strongly enforce helmet use at all times.
Talk to your child’s coach
It’s okay to talk to your child’s coach about your safety preferences. This is especially important if your child suffers from medical conditions such as epilepsy, low blood pressure, fainting spells, or other medical conditions that may require extra care or supervision.
Learn how to spot a TBI
Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of a TBI so it can be treated as early as possible. Symptoms include complaints of head and neck pain, nausea or vomiting, sleepy or difficult to wake your child up, irritable, or irregular walking patterns. Learn more at KidsHealth.org.
If your child has been injured in contact sports
Unfortunately, injuries can happen even after safety precautions have been followed. If your child has suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to financial recovery. Call the Law Offices of Michael Pines at 1-800-655-6585 and speak to a personal injury lawyer who will review your case free of charge.
Our team of San Diego personal injury lawyers agree that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of most serious injuries that can arise out of a car accident. And unfortunately, a car accident is not the only cause of a TBI – anything from a fall, to sports, to professional fighting can cause a traumatic brain injury, and the effects can last a lifetime. Now, researchers are studying the effects of a brain injury and how sufferers are coping with their diagnoses long-term.
The study focuses on professional boxers, martial arts pros, and other extreme athletes who were reported to have sustained a TBI during the course of their professional career. Over 500 participants will take part in the study, a research project that is supported by a $400,000 grant by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian’s Lincy Foundation, according to reports by the Los Angeles Times.
“We know what permanent brain damage looks like in its final stages, but we know so little about what causes it and what happens during cumulative trauma,” said Maureen Peckman of the Cleveland Clinic.
Peckman will be coordinating the new study with partners Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The study’s hope is to shed light on the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury caused by accidents and athletic events, eventually helping all states and federal programs to better treat and prevent the injury.
As a part of the program, volunteers diagnosed with a TBI “will undergo four annual MRI brain scans, along with physical, cognitive and speech tests to monitor how brain activity can be altered by suffering head trauma.” Many of the study’s volunteers have injuries for more than 20 years, so the study will be crucial at finding what common effects can take place later in life as a traumatic brain injury is sustained.
Life after traumatic brain injury
It’s been well-known that brain injury has taken an large effect on those who participant in potentially health-hazardous sports like boxing. For instance, it’s been long suspected that the health of boxing great Muhammed Ali has deteriorated considerably as a result of his long-term traumatic injuries. The famous fighter has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a possible after-effect of intense battles from within the ring.
“The hypothesis is that we will find changes — be it in a brain scan, blood flow, brain fiber sheathing or the size of the brain — that will allow us to establish objective markers for ongoing damage [and] to inform the fighter where he stands,” said Dr. Charles Bernick, the neurologist leading the study.
For those who have been diagnosed with a TBI, or if you suspect you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury, it’s important to take action quickly, especially for individuals injured in a car accident. Many individuals turn to the help of an experienced personal injury attorney for legal counsel in the event they suspect they may have experienced a TBI. Why? A brain injury lawyer can help you gain fair financial recovery, in addition to handling your insurance claim with expert care. Unfortunately, it’s been our experience that insurance companies will rush injured people into a quick, less-than-fair settlement – but know that once a settlement has been signed off and accepted, you may not be able to recover for future injury or illness as a result of your accident.
To discuss your personal injury case, call the accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC at 1-800-655-6585 or submit your case online. The consultation is free of charge, and we don’t collect until you do.
When people begin to understand the repercussions of their accident injuries, it can be extremely daunting to realize that some injuries can progressively get worse. And, unfortunately, injury accidents – especially traumatic brain injury – can, in fact, affect you for the rest of your life, according to a study by the Memory Disorders Program at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.
In their findings, researchers discovered that people diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury had two times the risk of developing dementia – a condition that typically ushers in Alzheimer’s disease.
“We’re now getting a much better understanding that head injury is an important risk factor for developing dementia down the road,” says Kristine Yaffe, lead researcher and director of the program.
Accident injury can lead to greater implications in a patient’s future
The study reviewed extensive medical records – nearly 300,000 – of veterans age 55 and older who at one time or another had reported a brain injury of any degree. Of the group, 2 percent were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. For purposes of the study, the conditions that qualify as a TBI include concussions, post-concussion syndrome, non-specific head injuries, and any skull fractures. For those in the group that had a TBI, nearly 15 percent were also diagnosed with dementia later in life, as opposed to only 7 percent of others who never reported a head injury.
The study only fortifies the findings of many other researchers studying traumatic brain injury, according to Douglas Smith, professor of neurosurgery and director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair. In the presence of a traumatic brain injury, dementia may be diagnosed at an earlier age and symptoms may progress greater than others without a TBI.
Unfortunately, brain injury as a result of car accidents happen all too often – nearly 1.7 people are reported to have experienced a TBI due to falls and car accidents.
Brain injury: rehabilitation may help
Yaffe pointed out that more research is needed for the study to determine whether or not early rehabilitation can help reduce the risk of early-onset dementia. “If you know you’ve had a head injury and you are approaching older age, one has to be carefully monitored and screened for cognitive dementia,” she said.
If you have been injured in a car accident, and feel as if you may have a head injury or TBI, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The following symptoms may occur in the presence of a TBI according to experts at the Mayo Clinic. But remember – if you suspect you have experienced a traumatic brain injury, please consult your doctor for medical guidance. Do not depend on this list as a conclusive medical guide as individual symptoms may vary.
Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms
- Loss of consciousness
- Sensitivity to light/sound
- Difficulty sleeping, or a too much sleep
- Concentration problems
- Ringing in the ears
- Bad taste in the mouth
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and suspect traumatic brain injury, call a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Michael Pines at 1-800-655-6585 or contact us online for a free and confidential legal review. The evaluation costs you nothing, and the legal advice is free.
Parents are frequently on the pursuit of keeping children safe, whether it is in the car, at home, or at school. And today, in light of National Playground Safety Week, there’s never been a better time for schools in our community to realize the importance of child safety. But amazingly, this California has opted out of the program.
Let’s spread the word – we want National Playground Safety Week!
Did you know each year approximately 15 children die from unsafe or hazardous playground equipment? Even more staggering is the fact that 200,000 children are treated for personal injury from unsafe playgrounds, according to the National Program for Playground Safety.
As a safety ambassador to the San Diego area, I encourage you to contact your schools and let them know you stand up for kid safety.
Tips for encouraging playground safety at your school
Talk to your child’s principal, and even offer a few days of volunteering throughout the year. Most importantly, ask your child’s principal to contact the city council and petition for participation in National Playground Safety Week. You may want to mention the following tips in the meantime since they go a long way for maintaining child safety.
Ask for more supervision during play time
Tell the school principal that you’d like to see more hallway monitors and recess attendants. Nothing can be more effective at maintaining a safe environment than more eyes watching your children. Also, children of different ages should have separate playing areas. Ages 2 to 5 should play in a different area than children between 5 and 12 since both groups have different playing styles and abilities.
Ask for improved surfaces
Playgrounds have come a long way since they used to be made from hard concrete surfaces. Now, playground materials are shock-absorbing and soft – a big improvement over rock-hard surfaces that can break bones, cause head injuries, and even cause catastrophic events like spinal cord injury or paralysis. Playgrounds should be covered at least 1 foot deep with soft materials like shredded rubber, rubberized asphalt, or wood chips. If your child’s playground is outfitted with grass and soil, these are still too hard to absorb shock if your child falls – ask for improved surfaces that are up-to-date and prevent injury.
Download the Playground Safety Checklist
Ask your child’s principal to walk around the school campus with you and the Playground Safety Checklist. This “safety report card” will bring to light any potential safety hazards including equipment with missing or broken parts, guardrail requirements, the posting of playground rules and much more. As you walk through the school with your child’s principal, using the “safety report card” can truly shine light on the importance of National Playground Safety Week.
When accidents happen, use a reliable, experienced source of help
Unfortunately, children are hurt on playgrounds every day. Most commonly, children experience serious injury from falls during climbing, swinging, overhead ladders, and slides. And of these accidents, 15 percent are considered severe or debilitating. When accidents like these happen, it’s important to talk to experienced legal counsel who can walk you through the process of recovery for your child’s serious injury including recovery for medical bills, pain and suffering, or a loss of quality of life. Call the Law Offices of Michael Pines at 1-800-655-6585 or contact us online if your child has been injured in a playground accident.
For more information on National Playground Safety Week
If you’d like to find out more about National Playground Safety Week, log onto http://www.playgroundsafety.org/ for tips on getting the program approved in our state. Let’s band together as San Diegans and bring National Playground Safety Week to California. It’s more important than ever to spare children from needless injury. Let’s do our part to avoid accidents and make a difference.