Risk of Childhood Brain Injury Requires Effort to Prevent Head Trauma: Study

Following a large-scale study that evaluated childhood brain injuries, researchers indicate that protecting children from head trauma is the most important way to reduce the risk of serious injury, highlighting the importance of safety helmets and other precautions. 

In the latest issue of the The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers indicate that the leading cause of head injury for children under the age of 12 is falls, typically from moving toys, such as bicycles, scooters or other wheeled vehicles.

The findings come from a second review of the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) study, a large observational study of 25 emergency rooms in the U.S. conducted from 2004 to 2006.

Did You Know?

Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

More than 40,00 children were studied, revealing 98% of children had some type of mild head trauma. Overall, nearly 10% of children suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI), a more severe type of head trauma.

Computed tomography (CT) scans were done on nearly half of the children, the majority of them were older than 13 years of age. CT scans found traumatic brain injuries in seven percent of the children, another three percent had skull fractures and less than one percent died as a result.

The rate of traumatic brain injuries seen on children who underwent CT scans was five percent for children with mild injuries, 27% for children with moderate injuries and 65% for children with severe injuries.

Subdural hematoma, a collection of blood outside of the brain typically caused by severe head injuries, was the most common injury. Other injuries found were subarachnoid hemorrhage, bleeding between the brain and the thin tissue that covers the brain, and cerebral contusion.

The findings underscore the need for parents and caregivers to protect children in advance from traumas; what researchers say is the key to reducing severity.

Sports Head Injury Most Common

Injuries among adolescents were most frequently caused by sports injuries, assaults and car crashes, with sports injuries being the most common.

Following widespread concern of the risk of sports-related head injuries, a recent government study focused on the impact on young players. The Institute of Medicine launched an investigation in 2013 focusing on concussions in children, with plans to conduct the most extensive study on sports-related head injuries.

Research published in 2012 in the Journal of Neuroscience revealed even a single traumatic brain injury significantly increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The study found one TBI involving either minor or severe trauma causes a heightened risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life,

Prior studies have shown that children can continue to experience side effects after suffering a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury for months after the event occurred. The study found white matter in the brains of children who suffered concussions continued to change months after the concussion symptoms have subsided.

In the most recent study, nearly half of the children with TBIs confirmed by CT scan had more than one type of injury.

Some children also had to undergo neurosurgical procedures. Nearly 20% also experienced traumatic brain injuries and nearly half required more than one procedure.

Overall, researchers hope this data leads to better education to help protect children from brain injury, as TBI is the leading cause of death and disability in children older than one year.


"*" indicates required fields

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Onewheel "Nosedive" Lawsuit Filed Days Before Manufacturer Recalled Electric Skateboards (Posted today)

A OneWheel nosedive lawsuit claims the battery-operated scooter is defectively designed, causing riders to suffer serious injuries when the device suddenly stops and pitches forward.

Problems with Philips CPAP Machines Reported 11 Years Before Recall Issued By Manufacturer
Problems with Philips CPAP Machines Reported 11 Years Before Recall Issued By Manufacturer (Posted 4 days ago)

A ProPublica report reveals that Philips officials hid thousands of reports of problems with sound abatement foam used in millions of CPAP machines, failing to recall the devices for more than a decade after receiving the first complaints.