Recent news coverage appears to show a trend across the country in public awareness of kids being at risk for serious head trauma or traumatic brain injuries in the course of everyday play or during more structured sporting activities.
Which is great news from our perspective. It is a particularly tragic part of our practice to represent children whose lives have been permanently altered by head trauma and TBI, especially when these injuries happen as the kids are just playing around, having fun, or participating in school sports. The more that parents, caretakers, teachers, and coaches are educated about the risks of serious head injury to children, the safer all our kids can be.
Florida Reports of Child Head Injuries on the Rise
The Orlando Sentinel reports a 71% increase in the number of children visiting Florida hospital emergency rooms than in 2004. That’s a huge difference over a five year period.
Physicians there assume that the increase in kids being presented for treatment is growing awareness of how even the slightest impact to the head can have serious, and sometimes fatal, repercussions.
Ohio’s Preemptive Strike against High School Athletes’ Risk of Head Injury
In Ohio last month, according to the Springfield News-Sun, the Ohio High School Athletic Association decided to add new requirements in state-wide manuals used by coaches and other school officials in a campaign to prevent serious head injuries to student athletes.
Henceforth in Ohio,“[a]ny athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared with written authorization by an appropriate health care professional.”
Symptoms of Serious or Traumatic Brain Injury in Children – What to Look For:
If your child has suffered any type of injury to the head, then be alert for the following symptoms within the following 24 – 48 hours and seek immediate medical treatment if there is:
• Loss of consciousness (even for a minute or so)
• Child keeps crying, doesn’t stop
• Your attempts at comforting aren’t working
• Child complains of pain in head or neck
• Child is not walking right
• Twitching limbs or trouble breathing during sleep (nap or nighttime after head injury)
• Eye pupils aren’t the same size
• Breathing is labored, abnormal
• Blood or clear fluid coming from nose, ears, mouth, or eyes
• Stiff neck
• Loss of bladder control
• Loss of bowel control
• Slurred speech
• Vision problems (complaints of blurred vision)
• Difficulty thinking, confusion
• Feeling anxious
• Problem with balance (falling, leaning against walls for support).