A study published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, reveals that pediatric traumatic brain injury results in continued functional disabilities. This study examined the outcome of 0- to 17-year-old children 36 months after traumatic brain injury (TBI), and ascertained if there was any improvement in function between 24 and 36 months.
The article is entitled "Persistence of Disability 24 to 36 Months after Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: A Cohort Study." The authors conclude that a child who suffers a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) may still have substantial functional disabilities and reduced quality of life 2 years after the injury. After those first 2 years, further improvement may be minimal. Better interventions are needed to prevent long-lasting consequences of TBI in children.
Our study of TBI in children 0–17 years of age at the time of
injury found that those with moderate or severe TBI continued to
have statistically and clinically significant deficits in function 36
months after injury, with no statistically significant improvement
seen between 24 and 36 months.
These findings are relevant to the attention placed on school sport injuries and how they are treated. For example, putting football players back into play following a hard hit on the head. There is much better regulation and guidance for sport injuries than when I grew up. Certainly I never wore a helmet to ride my bicycle! But how different things are today.
These findings are also important to offset the common notion that head injuries in kids are not serious. After all, we all had bumps and bruises growing up. But we now know this is simply not true. What problems a child goes on to develop as she gets older is now an acknowledged and valid concern.
So lets pay attention to our kids and young people in general. Who knows what head trauma may do to a child in later years? What head injuries did some of the infamous serial killers sustain as children? Not to say every child who gets a concussion goes on to be a criminal. But it is true that most prison populations endured Brain Injury in their lives. Something to think about.