Head injuries are not something to take lightly. The CDC estimates that 1.7 million people in the country sustain a traumatic brain injury every year, and these injuries contribute to a third of all injury-related deaths in the United States.
Children, especially those between the ages of 0 and 4 and the ages of 15 and 19, are the most likely to sustain these injuries, which is why education about the dangers of head injuries is so important. Because of the long-term effects that head injuries can have, parents should learn all they can about this common childhood injury.
In children, head injuries often occur while they are playing. Falls on the sports field, tumbles while riding a bike and trips while climbing outdoors are all common causes. For this reason, children should wear protective helmets whenever possible. Parents need to make sure that helmets are being used when their children participate in rough sports events or when riding wheeled toys, such as bikes, scooters and roller skates. Head injuries also frequently occur as a result of car accidents, especially when children are not properly restrained. Proper use of child safety seats can help protect children against serious brain injury in a car accident.
Though head injuries affect all children, a recent Reuters article mentioned the findings of a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine which shows the treatment for such injuries may not be uniform across the different races. Researchers looked at brain injuries and treatment of children and discovered differences based on the race of the injured child.
According to the research, white children get CT scans more often following minor head injuries than the children of the other races. The study found that 42% of white children brought in for minor head trauma got CT scans while only 28% of black and Hispanic children brought in for minor head trauma received such scans.
Some may think this means that hospitals are giving better treatment to white children, but the results indicate that unnecessary CT scans can actually be dangerous to the children receiving them. In this case, more treatment is not better treatment and can actually lead to medical mistakes and dangerous radiation risks.
So what’s the reason for the gap? Researchers are not sure, but think that parental anxiety levels play a role in the rate of CT scans given to children. Such anxiety is understandable given that what makes head injuries so scary is the fact that you cannot see what is going on inside your child’s head. What may appear to be a minor fall could actually be the start of a serious brain injury. That is why all head injuries should be checked by a skilled doctor, just to make sure there are no long-term effects.
If the injury was caused by another individual, parents should also consider talking to a lawyer about any further steps they need to take to protect their child’s rights. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury and you would like to discuss your case with an attorney, please contact the experienced Huntsville personal injury attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C. for a free personal injury consultation today.
Source: “Important facts about child head trauma,” by Courtney Caligiuri, published at WPRI.com.