Traumatic Brain Injuries In Children

Written by Shirley Parker
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CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control keeps statistics and data on childhood injuries. In 1999, for example, traumatic brain injury was the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults in the U.S. Sadly, those numbers are continuing cause for great alarm. Males suffer twice as many injuries of this type than do females. Perhaps that's because they're more often involved in contact sports, skateboarding, and rollerblading.

In addition, more children between the ages of five and 14 end up in emergency rooms from bicycle-related accidents than from any other sports activity. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, males are seven times more likely to die in bicycle crashes than females. Whether this has anything to do with attitude and risk-taking is for the experts to decide, but it seems possible.

Falls, car accidents, and Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) cause other traumatic brain injuries in children. One baby in three will die from SBS. Additional traumatic brain injuries in children can result from team sports, which need to be closely supervised at all ages. Some children push themselves too hard to keep up, or are ridiculed when they don't and push themselves even harder. Some children are naturally more aggressive than others and need to be reined in. Whacking another child with a baseball bat or a hockey stick is not acceptable behavior, even from a supposedly passive child.

The Latest Fad–-Scooters

Children want whatever other children have. The latest fad is mini-scooters, some of them powered by gasoline engines. They're so small they can be heard, but not seen, by motorists. They're not supposed to be ridden in the street, but kids do it all the time. Since the kids riding them sit only inches off the ground, the scooters present a major danger, even when ridden on the sidewalk. Frequently, the kids use improper judgment and shoot across the street, against Don't Walk signs, and are almost killed.

If your child is going through one of the frequent stages of disobedience that are common to childhood, get rid of the scooters! Failing that, lock them up, except when you can take the kids--wearing safety helmets--to some kind of safe track area away from other traffic.

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