Dealing with traumatic brain injuries in children

Understanding brain injuries in children

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Children who suffer head injuries or traumatic brain injury early in life often grow into their injury, but their problems sometimes do not surface until they are in elementary school.

Health experts say while no two children or their brain injuries are alike, many children struggle with similar emotions and challenges. A child's ability to cope with or develop ways to deal with these changes will vary depending on several factors.

The term head injury describes an array of injuries that can happen to the scalp, skull, brain and underlying tissue and blood vessels in a child's head. Head injuries are also referred to as brain injury, or traumatic brain injury, depending on the extent of the head trauma.

The risk of head injury is high in adolescents and twice as frequent in males than females.

Studies show that head injuries are more common in the spring and summer months when children are usually very active in outdoor activities such as riding bicycles, in-line skating, or skateboarding. 

Head injuries are one of the most common causes of disability and death in children, health officials say.

Pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist Dr. Charles Dillard from CHKD says parents play a key role in helping others understand the emotions and challenges children face when dealing with head injuries. A parent's involvement in the process is pivotal to the child's recovery and return to home and school.

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