"Traumatic brain injury (TBI)" - the phrase alone makes parents shiver. Nothing is more terrifying than being told that your child has suffered such an injury. For too many parents, however, that fear will become a reality. The CDC estimates that one out of every 30 children will suffer a brain injury of some kind by age 16.
Here is the good news: Early intervention, including access to informational material, can make a significant difference in the long-term outcome for your child.
According to a study published in Pediatrics, the official journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics, providing children with a simple information booklet about TBI symptoms and coping strategies "reduces anxiety and thereby lowers the incidence of ongoing problems."
In this study, 61 children with mild TBIs were given information booklets one week after their accidents. The pamphlets explained what kind of symptoms to expect from a mild TBI and how to deal with those symptoms. Another 58 children with mild TBIs were not provided with these educational booklets.
All of the children in the study were assessed after three months, and the results were intriguing. The children who did not receive the information booklet the first week after the injury reported that they felt more stress and experienced more symptoms than did the other group.
Simply put, it appears that simply knowing what to expect after a brain injury can make the recovery process much easier for children.
If you suspect that your child may have suffered a concussion or a serious blow to the head, don't wait to seek medical care. Prompt treatment is essential. If the injury was related to a car crash or another type of negligence, you should also consider consulting a personal injury attorney who can advise you about pursuing compensation for your child's injuries.