Brain Injury Children Category>>
Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death and disability in children and youth. The belief that this is a low incidence population still persists, not only in the general public but among many educators and health care providers as well. This article provides facts to correct common myths or misunderstandings about brain injury in children.
Myth 1: All brain injuries are the same.
Fact: Each injury is different. The brain may be damaged by a direct blow to a child’s head causing the brain to move around inside the skull. For example, this can happen when the child’s head hits the windshield in a car crash or when a bullet penetrates the skull and enters the brain. But secondary damage can also occur to the brain in addition to the initial trauma. This can be caused by swelling and bruising in the brain, infections, loss of oxygen, blood clots or torn nerve fibers. No two injuries are ever exactly the same. The brain is simply too complex.
Myth 2: Physical recovery is a sign that the child’s brain has healed.
Fact: The child’s recovery of thinking and reasoning skills – known as cognition – is very different from the process of physical recovery. While parents are usually overjoyed and relieved to see their child emerge from coma and moving and walking again, the rapid physical progress may be deceptive. A child can have a good physical recovery but still have significant cognitive impairments with changes in thinking and learning. These challenges are most likely to show up over time as the brain continues to develop.
Myth 3: A brain injury heals with time.
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Fact: The opposite is true. The full impact and consequences of an injury to a child’s brain may not be evident for many months and even years. A child’s brain is constantly changing as it matures. Brain development continues right up to early adulthood. Time reveals the effects of earlier damage to a child’s brain.
Myth 4: A young child has a better recovery from a brain injury than an older child.
Fact: Again, the opposite is true. The brain of a younger child is less developed and more vulnerable to trauma. An injury can interrupt or delay critical stages of brain development in the young child.
Myth 5: A child’s recovery is complete 6 months after the brain injury.
Fact: Recovery is usually most rapid in the initial months after the injury, but recovery has no definite timetable.
If you would like to learn more about brain injury in children, visit the website of Lash and Associates Publishing/Training at http://www.lapublishing.com or telephone 919-556-0300. Books and manuals on brain injury in children help teachers, special educators, therapists and families how to identify, assess, teach, and support students with brain injury or concussion in school. You can request a free catalog on the website or by phone.
Richard Horvath on behalf of Lash & Associates Publishing/Training Inc.