When people think about serious injuries, it’s usually spinal and brain injuries that come to mind. Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most common outcomes from substantially serious accidents. In fact, about 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries occur in America every year, and around 75 percent of these injuries are concussions. Concussions are a form of brain injury that disrupts the normal functioning of someone’s brain, but when these injuries happen in children, the outcome can be detrimental.
Common Childhood Concussive Accidents
There are several accidents that can lead to childhood concussive injuries. In fact, adolescents that are aged 15 to 19 and children that are younger than 4 years old are two of the three groups of individuals who are most likely to suffer concussions. A few specific accidents, though, are more than likely the culprit for a majority of childhood concussions.
- Car Crashes: The World Health Organization has found that car accidents are the number one cause of deaths for children when it comes to unintentional injuries. Overall, car accidents lead to about 28 percent of all traumatic brain injuries in the United States.
- Sports Related: A recent study in pediatric concussions found that 30 percent of childhood concussions are related to playing sports. Overall, however, only about 20 percent of concussions in the general population are related to sports injuries, so the childhood statistics are cause for concern.
- Playground Injuries: Emergency departments in hospitals treat, on average, over 200,000 children each year who are under the age of 15 for playground injuries. Most of these injuries occur at daycare centers and schools.
Effects of Childhood Concussions
Unfortunately, there are several detrimental effects that concussions can have on a child. These effects can range from temporary headaches or memory lapses all the way to brain swelling which could prove fatal. Fatal swelling usually only occurs, however, if a child receives a second blow to the head, which could be relatively minor, before they’ve had enough time to fully recover from a concussion.
Additionally, some effects of a concussion, often referred to as post-concussion syndrome, can prove harmful without being fatal. This can include attention and sleep problems, irritability, fatigue and many other damaging side effects. Sadly, these side effects can prove to be permanent in some cases.
How to Handle Suspected Concussions
The first thing that a parent should do if they suspect their child may have a concussion is seek medical treatment. If a child loses consciousness, however, a parent should refrain from moving the child since they may have suffered a serious spinal or neck injury. Calling emergency personnel in this situation is vital. A child doesn’t have to lose consciousness, however, to have a concussion. There are several other symptoms that could point towards the condition:
- Walking difficulties
- Abnormal breathing
- Neck stiffness or pain
- Unequal pupil size
- Difficulty in calming the child
If any of these symptoms become apparent, a guardian should immediately seek medical help. Additionally, if the accident occurred while the child was under another person’s care or due to another individual’s negligence, it’s imperative to seek legal help as well. The medical bills related to a childhood concussion can be excessive, and as previously alluded to, these bills may prove to be long term.
Finding a local attorney who can handle these cases is often as easy as performing an online search or calling the local legal bar for references. The Internet, however, will allow a person to see reviews from other parents who may have worked with an attorney in a similar childhood injury situation. By simply inputting the area and kind of attorney a person seeks will pull up a long list of attorneys. For example, by inputting ‘Charleston South Carolina personal injury attorney’ a person could read about Howell and Christmas LLC, a personal injury firm, and read online how they represent cases that involve personal injury to minors.
Additionally, it’s explained how this firm has helped support their local community by launching their “Helmets for Kids” program to enable free helmets for local kids in efforts to reduce head injury traumas. Finding a local attorney is a vital step for parents since their child may be permanently affected. At least with legal help, a parent can help their child reach some semblance of recovery.
Concussions can be very serious injuries in children, so it’s imperative to understand how they occur and how to handle them. Even with the detrimental nature of a concussion, parents who know how to react to them may be able to ensure that their child is able to make a quick recovery. While it’s true that medical and even legal professionals could be necessary to properly handle these accidents, quick reactive measures can really make the difference.
A guest post by researcher Lisa Coleman, who shares what some common reasons are that can lead to minors obtaining severe head injuries, and the kind of symptoms, medical care and expenses that can accompany it. She recently researched online about how Howell and Christmas, LLC, a Charleston South Carolina personal injury lawyer firm, was equipped to represent a client who recently experienced their minor child obtaining head injuries due to a number of different kinds of accidents, and how they handled all the legalities that ensued.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9110245@N02/4441851979/