Child Brain Injuries: What Should I Do If My Child Suffers a TBI?
Every day, we learn more about the devastating impact of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). One group that is extremely vulnerable to this type of injury is children. Child brain injuries are more common than many of us realize and can often result in permanent injury, a lifetime of pain and suffering, and even death. In some cases, children suffer brain injuries needlessly, because several causes of childhood TBI are preventable. If a child suffers a TBI as a result of the negligence of an individual, school, business or organization, the child and his or her family may be able to hold those at fault accountable with a personal injury lawsuit.
Causes of Child Brain Injuries
Per The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a few of the more common causes of traumatic brain injury in children ages 4 and under include falls, traffic accidents, struck against/struck by objects, and assault. In some cases, children are injured while at school or while participating in school-related activities such as sports.
One sport that has made headlines for its role in concussions is football. Suffering a brain injury while playing pee wee or high school football is not uncommon, and once a child suffers one concussion, he or she is often left vulnerable to future concussions and/or second-impact syndrome (SIS).
Symptoms of Pediatric Brain Injury
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), there are several childhood concussion symptoms that you should look out for if you suspect your child has suffered a brain injury, including but not limited to the following:
- Loss of consciousness
- Sensitivity to light
- Impaired coordination and/or balance
- Double vision
- Loss of taste
- Short-term memory loss
- Difficulty making decisions
- Slurred speech
- Mood swings, anger, and depression
In addition, for infants, who could be the victims of brain injury due to falls or shaken baby syndrome, there are a few signs of brain injury to look for, such as:
- Persistent crying
- Changes in nursing or eating habits
- Loss of balance
- Loss of interest in playing or in favorite toys
Child Brain Injury Treatment
Per Johns Hopkins Medicine, depending on the type and severity of a child brain injury, there are multiple treatment options for kids who suffer a TBI. Other factors that can influence what treatments are best for a child in the wake of brain injury include the child’s age, other medical conditions the child already has, and whether the child is able to undergo certain therapies or handle taking certain medications. A few childhood brain injury treatment options include:
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Diagnostic testing
What to Do If Your Child Suffers a TBI
In the immediate aftermath of your child suffering an injury that you suspect is a TBI, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible for your child. In addition, per KidsHealth.org, you should do the following if your child suffers a brain injury:
If your child is unconscious, do not move the child, because the child could also be suffering from a spine or neck injury in addition to his or her concussion.
If your child is unconscious and begins vomiting or having a seizure, turn the child on his or her side to prevent him or her from choking on the vomit. In addition, as you turn the child, try to keep his or her neck and head straight in case the child has a neck or spine injury.
If the child is conscious, keep the child still and calm as best you can.
If there is an exterior head injury/wound, do not attempt to clean the wound, remove anything that is stuck in the wound, or apply pressure to the wound in case there is a skull fracture. You can apply a bandage to the wound if there is bleeding.
After your child receives proper medical attention, you should speak with an experienced brain injury attorney as soon as possible. If your child’s injury was due to the negligence of an individual, school, business, or organization, a lawyer can explain your options for holding those at fault for your child’s brain injury accountable and preventing other children from suffering the same injury in the future.
Damages for Child Brain Injury Victims
Depending on how severe a brain injury is, a victim could face a lifetime of pain and suffering as a result. As such, many child brain injury victims will need years of physical therapy, speech therapy, medication, specialized job training, and in-home or in-facility care. This is in addition to medical expenses from the immediate aftermath of the injury and loss of income for parents or guardians who cannot afford to hire a fulltime caregiver for their child.
A traumatic brain injury lawsuit will provide the child and his or her family with compensation to cover hospital bills, medication, caregivers, home and vehicle modifications, loss of income, and other expenses associated with a child brain injury. In addition, in some cases, plaintiffs can recover compensation for their pain and suffering. TBI lawsuits also enable victims to bring those responsible for their injuries and anguish to justice and help ensure that changes are made to prevent others from suffering in the future.
How Talking to a Brain Injury Attorney Can Help
If you even suspect that your child has suffered a brain injury, you need to talk to a brain injury attorney about your situation as soon as possible. Even if you are not sure if you will pursue a legal claim, an experienced brain injury lawyer can not only answer questions about the legal aspects of your situation but also point you in the right direction to secure the best treatment options for your child’s condition.
In addition, a brain injury lawyer can analyze your case, tell you whether you have a valid claim, and guide you through the process of securing the compensation you need to cover hospital bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, rehabilitation, and other expenses.