Emergency rooms in Washington and around the country treat almost 3 million traumatic brain injuries each year, and many of the patients they treat are children. According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, brain injuries are one of the leading causes of death for children in the United States. Concussions, contusions and coup injuries are the most common types of brain traumas suffered by children, but countercoup injuries are the most serious.
Countercoup injuries are caused by a blow to the head that causes the brain to move and strike the inside of the skull, which results in injuries to two parts of the brain. Countercoup injuries are sometimes caused by violent shaking, but children most often suffer them in motor vehicle accidents. These injuries can be caused by head trauma that does not fracture the skull or even break the skin, which means they are not always easy for parents or emergency room doctors to diagnose. The most common symptoms of serious brain injuries are disorientation and nausea, which are not uncommon after a car crash.
Children who suffer traumatic brain injures sometimes develop learning disabilities. When children with existing learning disabilities suffer serious head injuries, their conditions often become worse. Symptoms of a brain injury-related learning issue include bouts of depression, aggressiveness and impulsiveness, difficulty learning new skills, reduced cognition and memory issues. It is often these symptoms that lead parents to seek medical attention for children with undiagnosed brain injuries.
Taking no chances
Brain injuries in adults and children respond to treatment better when they are diagnosed quickly. This is why it is a good idea to take no chances and seek medical treatment after a car or household accident even when no symptoms are present. Timely treatment is especially important when children suffer brain injuries because allowing the symptoms to worsen can lead to developmental and learning difficulties that can be very difficult to remedy.