When we discuss concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in kids in Carlsbad and throughout California, we often think about teen athletes who sustain head trauma in contact sports. However, as the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) explains, there are many ways in which children sustain mild TBIs and more serious head wounds. For example, the majority of brain injuries in children occur in motor vehicle crashes (more than 60,000 every year), followed by fall-related injuries. More than 500,000 kids require treatment in emergency departments every year as a result of TBIs.
All of this is to say that parents should be considering the long-term risks of TBIs even when their kids do not play sports but sustain a concussion or another serious head injury after falling from a bike or being involved in a traffic collision. According to a recent report in CBS News, kids who recover from TBIs may be at risk of developing ADHD at a later point. Indeed, as the report indicates, “young children who sustain a severe head injury may struggle with attention problems as they grow older.” What else do parents in Carlsbad need to know about TBIs in children and ADHD risks?
New Study Addresses Long-Term Implications of Severe TBI in Children
The CBS News report cites a recent study, which seeks to address the long-term implications of severe TBI in young children. In particular, the researchers sought to assess long-term consequences of brain injury in kids between the ages of 3 and 7. What did they determine? Children in that age group who sustain a severe traumatic brain injury “are three and a half times more likely to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder by the time they enter middle school.” According to Megan Narad, a psychology fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the lead researcher on the study, “those kids had a risk of developing attention problems later on in their recovery.
When parents do not realize those long-term consequences and the children get to middle-school age, the problems associated with the early childhood TBI can worsen. As Narad clarified, “by that point, I think a lot of people consider these kids recovered from their injury, but really there’s a chance they could be developing some new problems later on.”
Study Tracks Kids for Seven Years After Severe TBI
The fact that kids who sustain TBIs are more likely to develop ADHD is not a new theory. For quite some time, researchers have linked childhood brain injuries to ADHD risks. What this study does that is new, however, is to show that ADHD can develop even after an extended period of time. Until Narad’s study, researchers only had addressed the development of ADHD in the two years following a brain injury.
In Narad’s study, the researcher tracked kids who sustained TBIs for seven years after the initial injury. They followed the results of 81 different children with brain injuries that were more severe than a concussion and required at least one night of hospitalization for treatment. Given that ADHD can affect a child’s ability to develop and maintain social relationships, as well as to perform well academically, the study suggests that the long-term harms of brain injuries are more than just physical ones.
Learn More from a Carlsbad Brain Injury Lawyer
If your child sustained a brain injury as a result of another party’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. A compassionate brain injury attorney in Carlsbad can speak with you today about your case and your options for moving forward. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we can help.
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(image courtesy of Jesse Orrico)