Few injuries are as devastating or potentially life-altering as those that impact the brain. In recent years, there has been a wealth of knowledge that’s been uncovered with regard to the negative and long-term side effects of even mild brain injuries.
A brain injury may result in an individual suffering deficiencies in cognitive and motor functioning. While over time injuries related to broken bones and lacerations heal, damage suffered to the brain is permanent in nature. Given this fact, brain injuries among children can be especially serious and may result in a child suffering the ill-effects of a brain injury his or her entire life.
A groundbreaking study was recently released in which researchers evaluated more than 43,000 child brain injury patients from 25 different emergency rooms across the U.S. Data collected in the study provides insight into the leading causes of brain injuries in children of varying ages.
For example researchers discovered that falls are overwhelmingly the most common cause of brain injuries in children ages birth to two. For children between the ages of two and 12, at 38 percent, the percentage of brain injuries attributable to falls remains high. In cases where a brain injury resulted from a bicycle accident, less than 20 percent of children were wearing a bike helmet.
For teens ages 13 to 17, 19 percent of brain injuries were sports-related. Additionally, 18 percent of patients were diagnosed with a brain injury after being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Of these teens, less than 50 percent reported wearing a seat belt at the time the accident occurred.
Accidents happen and there will likely always be children who are injured while playing sports, riding a bike or riding in a car. While these types of accidents may be difficult to prevent altogether, safety equipment like helmets and seat belts can greatly reduce the likelihood that a child will suffer a devastating and life-altering brain injury.
Source: Claims Journal, “Research Reveals Most Common Causes of Head Injuries in Children,” Nov. 25, 2014