How to Avoid Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children
Traumatic brain injuries in children is exceedingly common, and the symptoms are not always immediately known. Here's how to tell if your child has brain trauma, and how to avoid future accidents.
The kids are going back to school soon and that means playground fun for some, athletics training for others. And along with such activities is the risk for an accident.
How concerned should parents and educators be about brain injury accidents? Are there measures they can take to protect their returning students? What should young scholars know? And when is a bump on the head serious enough for medical attention?
Here's a primer on the basics of traumatic brain injuries in children.
Risk of Brain Trauma in Children
Nearly 2 million people receive a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year.
- Of that number, about 80% are treated at an emergency room (ER), then released to recover at home.
- Of the remainder, more than 50,000 do not survive and about 275,000 require hospitalization.
Children ranging in age from infancy to 19 years are among the highest risk group to receive a TBI.
Of all emergency room visits for TBI, about one-third are 14 years of age or younger.
So, if parents and educators are worried about the risk of head injuries for young students, they have good reason.
Preventative Measures To Avoid Traumatic Brain Injuries In Children
Playground and sports injuries are the most common reasons for school related head trauma.
Informing children on how to play safe is the best preventative measure parents and educators can take.
Legal action may be taken depending on circumstances; on who was directly responsible for the accident, for example.
Playground Safety Tips to Avoid Head Injuries:
Falls from climbing equipment and swings pose the greatest hazard.
- Children should not jump from swings or push others out of swings.
- They should not climb higher than 5-7 feet.
- Youngsters should not climb on, or over, rails intended to be barriers.
- Educators and parents should insist that playground equipment feature the latest safety designs, such as synthetic gripping surface enhancements.
- Grown-ups should also ensure that playground time is properly supervised with an adequate adult/per children ratio.
- Before children enter the playground, perform a clothing check. Drawstrings and cords are hazards that contribute to falls, becoming trapped on equipment.
Athletics Safety Tips to Avoid Head Injuries:
There are many preventative measures that work together to create a safe sports culture.
- Coaches and parents should be pro-active at providing information on concussions and encouraging athletes to report any symptoms.
- Enforce rules that ban strikes to the head.
- Always use proper safety gear.
- Helmets must be used in any sport where physical contact between athletes occur.
- Enforce serious consequences if one athlete puts another athlete at risk of a head injury.
- Create a Concussion Action Plan that includes: disciplinary action for the offender, immediate medical attention for the injured player, documentation of the event, reporting of the event to school administration, parents, and medical care providers.
- Written medical release from a health care provider is required before an injured player can return to training.