For parents whose child has been diagnosed with a brain injury, providing the very best can become particularly challenging.
As parents, each one of us works hard to provide for our children and to give them the best for their well-being and security. For parents whose child has been diagnosed with a brain injury, this can become particularly challenging. A child with a brain injury has special needs and there is an impact on the entire family.
Causes of Brain Injuries in Children
Brain injury is a leading cause of disability and death for children in the U.S. and affects over 62,000 children each year. When a child suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the full impact of cognitive and other impairments may not be fully understood until months or even years after the injury. The damage from a TBI may evolve over the hours and days after the impact, so an early diagnosis is important. Common causes of TBI are:
- motor vehicle accidents
- slip and fall accidents
- sports and recreational accidents
- acts of assaults and violence
An infant may suffer a brain injury due to a doctor’s failure to monitor the developing fetus during pregnancy and childbirth. A lack of oxygen to the brain or any traumatic injury caused by the use of assistive devices, such as forceps, can leave a child permanently impaired.
The Next Steps
If you have a child who has been diagnosed with a brain injury, understand that you do not have to face this difficult challenge alone. There is help available and you can take these proactive steps:
- Speak to your child’s doctor to determine the level of disability your child is likely to face.
- Survey your home to determine the types of improvements that may be necessary to accommodate your child’s needs and disabilities.
- Speak with a Chicago traumatic brain injury lawyer to determine if you are entitled to seek compensation to cover your child’s medical costs and other-related expenses.
Statistics on TBI in Children and Adolescents
The incidents of TBI in children and adolescents is high. In fact, traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in children and adolescents, according to the Centers of Disease Control of Prevention (CDC). The age groups that are at highest risk of suffering a TBI are 0-4 years and 15-19 years. Approximately 62,000 children and adolescents belonging to the age group 0-19 years will suffer brain injuries that require hospitalization annually. On an average, 2,685 deaths are reported in the age group of 0-14 years. Automobile accidents and sports injuries are responsible for the largest percentage of TBIs followed by child abuse. As many as 1,300 children suffer serious or even fatal brain injuries from child abuse each year.
For the purpose of the study, long term data of cases in which the patients has suffered at least one mild TBI or concussion were analyzed by researchers from University of Oxford, United Kingdom. The patients, born between 1973 and 1985, were on an average of 13 years when they sustained injuries. After the reached the age of 26 years, they were followed for around 8 years.
The researchers found that TBI was linked to psychiatric treatment, premature death and low educational achievement. It was also found that these individuals were more likely to become dependent on public assistance such as disability and welfare. Among these individuals, the risk of being diagnosed with some psychiatric disorder in the adulthood was 10% and the chance of premature death was 2%. The chances of these individuals requiring hospitalization for a psychiatric disorder in adulthood were double compared to their siblings who did not suffer a TBI when young. They were 80% more likely to become dependent on TBI compared to their siblings.
The authors noted that the causal relationship between TBI exposure in childhood and impairments in adulthood is clear, so preventive strategies targeted at children and adolescents are necessary.
Chicago Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
A brain injury can result in long-term impairment of cognitive functions and memory loss, as well as physical impairment such as respiratory or heart issues and paralysis. Depending on your child’s type and level of disability, you may need home improvements such as enlarging hallways and entrances, installing chairlifts, or changing the overall layout of your house to accommodate your child’s disability. All this can mean a huge financial burden for the parents, who are already emotionally drained after the diagnosis. Seek legal advice from Willens & Baez. Call us for a free consultation at (312) 957-4166.