September is National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month. A month dedicated to raising awareness on preventing traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Physicians at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital are reminding parents to never ignore a head injury. Parents can help to prevent traumatic brain injuries by understanding the risks, signs and symptoms.
The most common form of a head injury is a mild traumatic brain injury, commonly referred to as a concussion. Concussions aren’t caused from just playing sports. Concussions are common after car accidents or any other trauma to the skull.
Steven Couch, M.D. is a Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital. Couch sees patients who sustain TBI’s from falls, collisions and sports. “Although mainly associated with sports, the most common cause of concussions remains falls. When you add speed to a collision like bicycles, all-terrain vehicles, scooters and motorcycles there is a much higher rate of concussion,” said Couch. “Risk reduction factors like seat belts and helmets are not guaranteed to prevent a TBI, but can help to reduce the risk.”
It is important for parents to be on the lookout for signs of a brain injury after everyday life events, such as falls or car crashes.
What are the symptoms of a brain injury?
- Concentration or memory problems
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Double or blurry vision
“As the brain is recovering from an injury, it’s fragile. If it gets hit a second time while recovering, there can be even more damage. You want to give the brain time to heal before you decide to risk hurting it again,” said Couch. “If you break your arm, you will probably heal. If you break your head, you will probably never be the same again.”
To help recognize a brain injury, watch for these two events:
- A forceful blow to the head or body that results in rapid movement of the head
- Any change in your child’s behavior, thinking or physical functioning.
Physicians at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital treat children and teenagers with traumatic brain injuries. As Oklahoma’s only inpatient pediatric rehabilitation hospital, patients receive a wide variety of services, from 24-hour medical care to education to therapy. If you would like to donate to help patients with brain injuries at the Hospital, please click here.