Children are more likely to suffer a serious head injury than adults - and their traumatic brain injuries are often more serious than adult cases of TBI. Learn about the common causes of head injuries in Washington State children and how child head injuries can be more serious than similar adult injuries.

Washington Parents: Learn How Serious Head Injuries Can Affect Your Children

It is perfectly normal for all children to suffer a bump on the head as they grow and learn. But there is a big difference between a minor accident and a serious head injury. While a small accident may lead to a bump or a scratch, a traumatic brain injury can have serious life-long consequences for children, including brain damage, coma, cognitive issues, behavior problems, motor issues, paralysis, learning disabilities, and even death.

Brain injuries are more common among children than among adults in Washington State. This is because children are often more active but also less coordinated and less aware of their surroundings. All in all, an estimated 100,000 children visit the emergency room with head injuries each year in the United States.

The idea that children are better able to recover from a brain injury is not necessarily true. While older literature suggested that the developing brain can more easily reroute after a serious head trauma or head injury, newer research suggests that children may have more difficulty recovering from an accident than those with developed brains. It is difficult to measure how much children are affected by brain injuries since they do not have a way to easily compare their progress like adults do – many do not have past academic records, IQ scores, or jobs that could help determine how much they were affected. In the same way, it may take years before parents know the full affects of a child brain injury – issues may not develop until the child grows and displays behavioral problems, learning difficulties, attention problems, or memory problems.

The most common cause of child brain injuries is falls. Other common causes of head injuries in children include car accidents, sports accidents, playground accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, suffocation accidents, and child abuse.