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Kids Suffer Long-Term Effects from Head Trauma

When children suffer a head injury, parents are always relieved once the tears stop. But a study published in the November 2011 issue of the journal Pediatrics reveals that children with moderate or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) have substantial long-term reduction in quality of life.

The study examined 729 children treated for TBI. Researchers tested the children 3, 12, and 24 months after their injury for their health-related quality of life, their participation in social and community activities, and their communication skills and ability to care for themselves.

The findings were surprising:  Quality of life was lower at all follow-up times. Social activities were significantly affected even after 3 months, but were improved (although not back to pre-injury levels) after a year or two. Communication and self-care abilities were lower at 3 months, and did not improve by 24 months.

The lesson:  A bump on the head can have effects that last much longer than the tears. Prevention of head trauma is key. But if injury occurs, get prompt medical attention to ensure that a serious injury doesn’t become a devastating problem.

RESOURCES

To read an abstract of the Pediatrics article, click here:  Pediatrics

To learn more about TBI, visit our dedicated web page here:  HensonFuerst Brain Injury Page

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