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Why are so many young children victims of brain injuries?

When small children suffer head trauma, it is often difficult to judge the severity, and in many cases, a parent might not even realize that a child suffered such an injury. If there is no evidence of a bump, bruise or laceration, brain injuries may go unnoticed. Fortunately, Ontario parents can prevent most head injuries by using proper car seats, seat belts and cycling helmets while many steps can be taken to make the home child-safe.

There are several reasons for young children being more vulnerable to head injuries than adults. They are unable to control their head movements adequately. This is due to the size of their heads in relation to their bodies and the fact that their neck muscles are still developing. A small child's centre of gravity is closer to the head because the legs are usually short in proportion to the torso. Falls are frequent at the time when they are learning to walk, jump and run, and they do not yet have the skills to fall in ways that will limit injuries.

When a parent believes a child has suffered head trauma, telling the difference between mild and severe brain injuries are challenging. If any signs of serious injuries develop in the first 24 hours, a doctor's examination is advised. It is also important to look for signs of additional injuries such as shock, breathing problems and spinal injuries. Spinal injuries that affect the neck are relatively common when children suffer forceful head injuries

Monitoring children's welfare can be particularly challenging when they spend their days at child care facilities. Parents may not always be fully informed about incidents that might have occurred at such facilities, and any concerns are best discussed with a doctor. If it can be established that a child suffered brain injuries at a daycare facility, the parents might have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced Ontario lawyer can answer questions and assist throughout ensuing legal proceedings.

Source: healthlinkbc.ca, "Head Injury, Age 3 and Younger", Accessed on May 12, 2018

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