Children are often thought of as resilient, but the truth is that, just like adults, children can suffer serious and lasting injuries. In fact, one recent study found that traumatic brain injuries (TBI) experienced during childhood may increase the child’s risk for social and psychological problems during adulthood. Though not likely to occur in all children who suffer a TBI, this risk is significant enough that parents should be aware of the problem. This is especially true if the injury was sustained because of someone else’s negligent actions.
Understanding the Risks
Like the traumatic brain injuries experienced by adults, childhood TBIs carry an immediate risk of mortality. This of particular concern if the child suffers a secondary concussion while they are still healing from a primary TBI. Children are also just as prone as adults to the accompanying symptoms, like memory problems, mood swings, dizziness, headaches, and difficulty sleeping. No one yet knows if they are also at risk for some of the other lasting conditions found in adults, such a higher risk of depression and Alzheimer’s. However, the study does suggest it could be possible.
Scientists propose that there could be many factors that influence the long-term effects of a TBI. On one hand, it could be that the inflammation never fully subsides, or that TBI causes permanent damage to the brain’s neurons. On the other, it could be that a TBI somehow alters the chemicals released and produced within the brain. Whatever the case, the effect is potentially huge.
According to the PLOS Medicine study, children who suffered a brain injury were 76 percent more likely to receive a disability pension during adulthood, 58 percent more likely to have never pursued secondary education, and almost twice as likely to be hospitalized for a psychiatric disorder than children who had never suffered a brain injury. When they compared siblings – one that suffered a brain injury during childhood, and one that had not – the risk diminished, but only slightly. This indicates that it is the injury itself, not genetics, that influence the long-term effects.
How the Study Could Impact Compensation for Childhood TBI Injuries
While the study has only recently been released and may need to be confirmed through additional research, the potential effect of a childhood TBI should not be overlooked. This is especially critical in instances where negligence led to the injury. Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. aggressively represents families in TBI cases involving negligence, and we are dedicated to helping you obtain the compensation your child deserves. Call 920-739-7366 to schedule a consultation with our Green Bay, Wisconsin personal injury attorneys today.