Watch for TBI after a child falls

Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries, or “TBI,” are all-too-common result of children’s falls. So if your child suffers a fall, with force to the head, parents should be ready to spot the signs and symptoms of a possible serious brain injury.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that falling is the most common cause of TBI, followed by motor vehicle accidents. Falls cause half of the TBIs in children through age 14.

TBI Signs & Symptoms

According to the Mayo Clinic, after a blow to the head, people can experience any of a variety of symptoms. In the case of a mild TBI, these symptoms could include:

  • Headache
  • Momentary loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness, disorientation or confusion
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Vomiting or nausea

Some symptoms may not start immediately. An injured person could develop sensitivity to sound or light. Others could notice increased moodiness, and the person may be anxious or depressed. Sleep patterns could change, with the person possibly needing more sleep or finding it hard to get to sleep.

More severe cases of TBI may involve any of the symptoms of mild TBI, along with enhancements. For example, any of the following could be involved:

  • Severe, long lasting headache
  • Extended loss of consciousness
  • Seizures and convulsions
  • Behavioral changes, such as agitation or combativeness

Signs & Symptoms in Children

After a child sustains a blow to the head, parents need to be mindful of unusual behavior or changes in typical behavior. Any of these symptoms is worth a follow up check with a doctor:

  • Persistent, inconsolable crying
  • Change in sleep or eating patterns
  • Reduced attentiveness
  • Disinterest in activities or toys

Parents should be sensitive to their children’s overall moods as well. If a child appears to be sad or depressed, a TBI could be the cause.

If a child’s injury was someone else’s fault, or happened while a care provider was not providing adequate supervision, parents should consult with a personal injury attorney. It may be possible to obtain compensation for the child’s medical expenses or long-term care, depending on the cause of the fall. But first and foremost, make sure your child gets the medical attention they need if any of the symptoms listed above are severe or last more than 24 hours!