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Child brain injury: Consequences may be worse than you thought

Most parents take for granted that their children will get hurt in the process of . . . well, being children. Scraped knees, bee stings and even broken bones are somewhat common for kids who like to be active. As parents, we can't be there to protect them 100 percent of the time.

But Americans now seem to be paying attention to a type of injury that was largely overlooked for far too long: Traumatic brain injury. Medical research is leading to new insights and discoveries about the risks and long-term problems associated with concussion and other TBI, and the news isn't good. In fact, the results of a recent study suggest that children who suffer a TBI may face long-term problems with attention, reaction time and even IQ.

A study in the Netherlands examined about 113 kids (between ages 6 and 13) who had suffered a traumatic brain injury. They then compared these kids to 53 kids who had suffered injuries that were not head- or brain-related. This comparison was presumably to control for the problems associated with any sort of injury in childhood.

Researchers found that about 18 months after injury, children with a brain injury:

  • Had higher rates of attention problems
  • Had higher rates of anxiety
  • Had higher rates of aggression
  • Had slower reaction times
  • Had lower scores on IQ tests (limited to children with moderate to severe TBI)

As you can see, a brain injury suffered at a young age could hinder your child's learning potential and educational attainment. In light of this, brain injury prevention should top the list of priorities for both parents and educators.

Moreover, if your child suffered a brain injury as the result of another person's negligence, pursuing compensation may be as complex as it is necessary. You likely won't know the costs of your child's future medical, educational and psychological health needs. For this and other reasons, you may want to seek help from an experienced personal injury attorney.

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