How Injury Symptoms in Kids Linger After a Concussion
Brain injuries are incredibly complex, especially in growing children as their brains are not yet fully mature. Dealing with concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in children can be overwhelming for many adults, leading to missed diagnoses, poor management, and even simple medical negligence.
Different factors can cause the failure to manage the brain injury of a child. For example, there can be a lack of awareness by the pediatrician and family doctors. Emergency room professionals could fail to make the proper referrals to specialists after a concussion. Meanwhile, parents can excuse the symptoms of serious brain injury because they’re either scared or not educated.
Untreated concussions and brain injuries can lead to lingering symptoms that will impact a child’s life for years. Thus, any form of legal protection to make people more vigilant and accountable for brain injuries in children is a must.
Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury on Children
Because the brain dictates the actions of the rest of the body, the presentation of a concussion or brain injury in children can be diverse. Long-term impact can be even more unpredictable.
A report by the CDC on the public health burden of childhood TBI found that “cognitive problems after a brain injury affect not only learning but also how children interact with their environment.” These cognitive problems include immediate headaches and dizziness, memory, physical activities, emotions, sleep.
The extent and duration of the symptoms depend on the severity. Approximately only 60% have persistent symptoms at one month after the concussion or injury, and less than 5% at one year post-injury. However, the more serious the injury, the higher the range of problems.
Here are some of the symptoms of TBI in children, which parents and teachers might easily excuse and ignore:
- Irritability and crankiness
- Listlessness and fatigue
- Loss of balance, especially when walking
- Change in eating or sleeping patterns
- Lack of interest in favorite activities
- Concentration problems
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Disorders of taste and smell
In the case of subtle symptoms, it’s vital for adults always to remember the history of the child when it comes to injury. Otherwise, these symptoms can go unrecognized, and they can lead to the following long-term effects:
- Medical consequences. Children with a poorly treated concussion can grow up with deficits in hearing, vision, movement, speech, and other functions.
- Cognitive problems. Aside from the short-term dizziness and disorientation following a concussion, children can also present with persistent memory and attention deficits long after the injury. These adults can be more forgetful and fatigued than others who did not have a brain injury as children. These problems impact school and post-school outcomes.
- Emotional and behavioral issues. A 2019 study on the long-term effects of childhood traumatic brain injury found that those who experienced brain injury as children had poorer relationship qualities as a child, leading to reduced life satisfaction and increased health issues.
- Financial impact. Delayed recognition and management are often more expensive, as they have to deal with more severe symptoms. These health deficits also impact earning capabilities.
These symptoms can initially be silent, or they can be overwhelming at the onset. The key to reducing adverse outcomes is early recognition and proper intervention.
Legal Assistance in Protecting the Child from Lingering Symptoms
Your child may seem perfectly fine immediately after a concussion or brain injury. The lingering symptoms mentioned above can show up only years down the line. Sometimes the presentation is sudden and alarming, or gradual and difficult to trace.
The challenge for lawyers is to secure a settlement or verdict regarding the occurrence of the injury or its poor management in a way that recognizes the grave potential for lingering symptoms. Judges and jury looking at the case might see a child who’s perfectly well; they might not know just yet that brain injuries can have lingering effects. This is why neuropsychological testing and neuroimaging procedures are essential to clinch these settlements and cases.
You need legal protection regarding brain injury caused by someone else to your child, or from cases of negligence by health care providers who overlook the extent of the brain injury. For these cases, you can rely on the expertise and aggressive mindset of The Clark Law Office, a leading Michigan personal injury law firm. We have the dedication to a personal brand of service to ensure that you are adequately represented and protected.