How traumatic brain injury affects children

Little boy showing where he hit his head with red spot on forehead

I have written about traumatic brain injury (TBI) before, but in this article I want to address how traumatic brain injury affects children.

Traumatic brain injury is a dysfunction of the brain caused by an accident. It can be caused by a sudden jolt, a violent blow to the head or body, or from an object entering the brain, like a bullet. A TBI can be mild, moderate or severe.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2013 alone, 2.5 million people visited emergency rooms for a TBI. In addition, TBIs are the cause of 30 percent of injury-related fatalities.

Greatest number of victims of TBI

The greatest number of victims who suffer a TBI are adults over 65, children under the age of 4, and teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19. Annually, approximately 500,000 children go to an emergency room because of a TBI, and the numbers continue to increase. A 2016 study by the National Institute of Health reported that 37,200 children suffer every year from a severe TBI.

Leading causes of TBI in children

The following are the most leading causes of TBI in children.

  • Falls: More than half (54%) of TBI-related ER visits, hospitalizations and deaths among children 0 to 14 were caused by falls.
  • Being struck: Over 1 in 5 (22%) TBI-related ER visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in children less than 15 years of age were caused by being struck by or against an object.
  • Motor vehicle crashes: Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for persons 5-24 years of age.
  • Assaults: Assaults were the leading cause of death for children 0-4 years.
  • Sports: Although sports rarely contribute to fatalities, sports and recreational activities contribute to about 21 percent of all TBIs among American children and adolescents in a given year.

Symptoms of TBI

Sometimes it is difficult to know if a child has a TBI. A contusion may or may not be visible. Long-term effects are harder to discern immediately, and sometimes a seemingly harmless blow to the head can lead to a severe case. To make things more complicated, symptoms vary greatly. One child may experience memory loss and another might show marked changes in personality.

That’s why I always stress that if you or your child has hit your head in an accident, you should get checked out immediately.

Long-term problems associated with children’s TBI

Like symptoms, problems can vary significantly from one child to another. Among them are:

  • Personality changes
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Memory lapses or inability to remember things in the past or short-term
  • Depression
  • Coping skills
  • Denial of acceptance of a changed life
  • Confusion

Compensation for a third-party injury

 If your child sustained a TBI due to the carelessness or irresponsibility of another individual, you may have a right to compensation from an insurance company. Medical costs associated with TBIs are very, very high, and in many cases, the need for medical care will last for the child’s entire life.

Although no amount of money can compensate a child or his family for such a terrible injury as a TBI, monetary support is needed. If you are the parent of a child who sustained a TBI, whether it was mild, moderate or severe, give me a call and let’s see if you have a case to pursue. All consultations are free.

I would appreciate it if you would share this article so that others can benefit from the information. Thank you.

For other areas of personal injury law, please see my other articles at

If you have any questions about this article or any area of personal injury law, please refer to the contact info below.

Contact Information:

The Law Offices of Peter Miller

1601 S. Broadway

Little Rock, AR 72206

Phone: 501-374-6300



The content of this blog was prepared by Law Office of Peter Miller, P.A. for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information in this blog may not apply to you. You should seek the assistance of an attorney licensed to practice in your state before taking any action. Using this blog site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Law Office of Peter Miller, P.A. Attorney-client relationships can only be created by written contract.

Attribution: Lindsay Shaver

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