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Children: Watch Closely for “Closed” Head Injury

Has your child been injured in an automobile collision? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has determined that when analyzing traumatic brain injuries (“TBI”) from 2006-2010, “motor vehicle crashes were the third leading cause of TBI.” closed head injury

We have all become familiar with shaken baby syndrome, but how many times have you heard someone talk about their child’s brain damage caused by a car wreck? Unlike a scrape on your child’s arm, a TBI or closed head injury can be invisible, but extremely damaging. It is difficult for a parent to identify a closed head injury. Sometimes the brain injury goes undetected at the emergency room because symptoms do not appear until several days, weeks, or months later. Brain injuries can even occur without total loss of consciousness.

If your child has suffered a blow to the head, the CDC advises you to contact a doctor. The CDC has listed the following symptoms as some of the signs to watch for:

  • listlessness or tiredness
  • irritability
  • changes in eating patterns, sleep, play, or school performance
  • loss of interest in favorite toys or activities
  • loss of new skills (e.g., toilet training)
  • unsteady walking or trouble balancing, and
  • vomiting

Remember, symptoms of your child’s brain injury may not appear right away. Getting proper medical treatment early on is crucial, even if it was a minor accident. The severe back and forth force involved in a whiplash injury is similar to the shaken baby syndrome. Obtaining a medical evaluation and documenting the subsequent treatment is not only important for your child’s medical welfare, but it may be vital in proving the severity of the harm caused to your child by a third party. Hopefully, that will not be the case, but we are certainly available to help you if that situation arises.