What Parents Need to Know About Children’s Brain Injuries

As a parent, you know that children are different from adults. Children’s brains are still developing. Accordingly, when they suffer brain injuries, they may experience different symptoms, require different treatment, and suffer different long-term effects than an adult would after a brain injury.

Pediatric Brain Injury Symptoms

While pediatric brain injuries are different from adult brain injuries, they do have some things in common. For example, brain injury symptoms depend on the severity of the injury and the specific part of the brain that was hurt, regardless of age.

Some brain injury symptoms are immediately identifiable. If your child has a significant cut or bruise on the head, is bleeding, has clear fluid leaking from their ears, or loses consciousness, then you should get your child immediate medical attention.

Children’s brain injury symptoms may also include physical challenges, including:

  • Speech changes such as slurred speech
  • Vision changes, such as blurred vision or tired eyes
  • Hearing changes, such as ringing in the ears
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivity to noise and light
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Motor coordination difficulties
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Paralysis
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Balance problems
  • Fatigue

Children may also experience cognitive and emotional impairments, such as:

  • Short-term memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble thinking
  • Limited attention spans
  • Communication difficulties
  • Perception problems
  • Trouble planning, reading, and writing
  • Judgment impairments
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lower self-esteem
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Difficulty controlling emotions

Infants, toddlers, young children, and some children with disabilities may be unable to communicate these symptoms to you. Additionally, it may be hard for you to notice these symptoms in these children. Accordingly, it is also important to watch for any changes in sleep patterns, eating, crying, and activity levels.

Treatments for Children’s Brain Injuries

If symptoms indicate that a child may have a brain injury, then the child’s doctor will likely order tests to confirm the diagnosis. Tests may include X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and EEGs, for example.

After your child’s brain injury is diagnosed, a treatment plan will be developed. Depending on your child’s age and injury, treatment may include:

  • Rest
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Ongoing rehabilitation therapies such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy

Additionally, your child may qualify for Iowa’s Early ACCESS program for children up to age three or special education services for older children and teenagers.

Get Help If Your Child Suffers a Brain Injury

A brain injury may interfere with a child’s developmental milestones and education. The effects may last a lifetime, but you can’t wait until your child is an adult to take action. If your child suffered a brain injury in a car crash, slip and fall, or another type of accident, then your child may have the right to recover past and future financial compensation for:

  • Healthcare costs
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering
  • Lost income

It can be challenging to value these injuries. You may not know how many years of physical therapy your three-year-old will need, what your five-year old’s future lost income could be, or the amount of pain and suffering your twelve-year-old will deal with every day of their life.

We know that valuing these damages is not an exact science. However, our experienced Iowa personal injury lawyers also know what experts to work with to make fair projections about future damages.

Insurance companies know that we mean business and are often willing to negotiate fair settlements with us. If the insurer responsible for paying your child’s claim is unwilling to compensate your child fairly, then our lawyers will be ready to fight in court.

Nothing is more important than your child’s brain injury recovery. Call us today for a free consultation. We are happy to meet with you by phone, video, in your home, or in our Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, or Davenport office to discuss your child’s rights, possible compensation, and our Win or It’s Free Guarantee!

 

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham