Can a Childhood Head Injury Cause Problems as an Adult?

Home / FAQ

Can a childhood head injury cause problems much later? Absolutely.

All head injuries should be taken seriously. Children’s brains, especially, are still developing, and every case is different.

Head injuries that occur during childhood have been linked to a higher chance of subsequent mental illness, poor school attainment, and premature death, according to a study published in the Public Library of Science Medicine.

Oxford University conducted a large research project with help from the United Kingdom, the United States, and Sweden. They analyzed data from more than a million Swedes born between 1973 and 1985 to identify the long-term impact of having a traumatic brain injury before the age of 25.

The researchers discovered that traumatic brain injuries during childhood increased the likelihood of low educational attainment, instances of psychiatric care, receiving welfare and disability benefits, and early death. More serious brain injuries and repeated brain injuries made these even more likely.

An over-the-shoulder shot of a doctor checking the eyes of a freckled, curly-haired boy.

What Long-Term Effects Can You Get From a Childhood Head Injury?

There is a chance for a child to experience lingering effects from a traumatic brain injury for about seven years after the injury, according to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s research. They have found that children with mild to moderate brain injuries are twice as likely to develop attention problems.

Children with severe brain injuries are often about five times more likely to develop secondary attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

In the same study, doctors found that the environment the child is exposed to after a head injury also has a significant impact on whether they develop attention deficits. Both parenting and the home environment are directly linked to the child’s recovery.

Children with severe brain injuries in optimal environments experienced fewer effects than children with mild brain injuries living in chaotic or disadvantaged homes. Parents play a critical role in their children’s recovery as research has proven that childhood head injury long-term effects may be minimal when exposed to effective parenting skills.

The greatest long-term effects are often observed in the children’s skills that affect social functioning, such as:

  • Inhibition
  • Speed of Processing Information
  • Reasoning

Many children recover and do well after a head injury and do not have serious deficits. However, some effects from a head injury will not be seen for quite some time after the injury.

The injury may also affect skills that are not readily used yet.

Unfortunately, some healthcare providers diagnose this incorrectly and do not realize that the underlying problem is from a head injury that occurred years ago. They may treat your child’s condition as though it’s a learning disability or emotional problem.

How Pediatric Brain Injuries Are Different From Adult Brain Injuries

The fact that children’s brains are still developing when the injury occurs means that potential problems or disabilities may go unnoticed for quite some time. Pediatric brain injuries are, therefore, often treated as a chronic disease process instead of a single event.

The child’s symptoms may change with time and growth to reveal the actual extent of the damage.

Children’s brains are typically more adaptable than adults’ brains, and oftentimes other parts of the brain will bypass the damaged tissue to avoid deficits. Unfortunately, brain injuries may also disrupt information retention and the child’s ability to learn.

This is especially problematic when the child is very young, as they have not learned much yet. These children will struggle with learning disabilities and be at a disadvantage when placed with other children.

They usually become discouraged and suffer from diminished self-esteem as they nor the people around them understand where the problem is coming from.

What Potential Symptoms Should Parents Watch For in Their Children to Determine Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Brain injuries should be diagnosed as soon as possible after they hit their heads. Young children are typically unable to communicate what they are feeling, and they may not realize any changes in themselves.

Possible symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include:

  • Excessive crying
  • Crankiness or being more irritable than usual
  • Lack of interest in favorite things or toys
  • Dazed appearance
  • Balance problems and walking unsteadily
  • Getting tired very easily and showing signs of listlessness
  • A change in their sleeping or eating patterns

Over time, other symptoms may begin to emerge. Parents should watch for memory and concentration issues or personality changes. Some children may also develop a sensitivity to noise and light, or they may start suffering from depression or psychological adjustment problems.

Statistics on Brain Injuries in Children

Brain injuries are the leading cause of death and disability among children and teenagers, according to the Brain Injury Association of America. The age groups with the highest risk for brain injury are children under four years old and also between the ages of fifteen and nineteen.

Around 62,000 children between the ages of 0 and 19 are hospitalized every year for brain injuries resulting from:

  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Child abuse
  • Other accidents

Emergency departments see an average of around 564,000 children with head injuries who are then released. Children aged 0 to 14 account for approximately 2,685 deaths, 435,000 emergency room visits, and 37,000 hospitalizations per year.

Tatum & Atkinson Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers Can Help

The brain injury lawyers at Tatum & Atkinson want to give your child the best chance of recovery. Our lawyers understand pediatric brain injuries and what to look for.

We can even help you find medical professionals who can help if you have not begun treatment yet.

Your child may need specialized care and treatment both now and in the future. If someone else’s negligence is responsible for your child’s injuries, we will hold them accountable.

Parents should not have to worry about the future or how they will handle potential developmental problems without professional guidance.

Don’t leave your injured child’s future to chance. Let the heavy hitters at Tatum & Atkinson help you.

We have decades of experience helping injured victims just like you and your family. We give every client the individualized attention they deserve, and we have a proven record of success in collecting compensation for our clients.

Contact our office today at (800) LAW-0804 for a free consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.

Contact the Heavy Hitters to Ensure You Receive Full Compensation

Traumatic brain injuries cause some of the most devastating injuries imaginable. Children are at risk of experiencing long-term symptoms and are at an increased risk of developing learning disabilities.

Victims and their families often feel overwhelmed, isolated, stressed, frustrated, and confused about what to do next to be able to continue with their lives. Personal injury attorneys help by ensuring victims receive full compensation for their injuries, so they can receive the treatment, medication, and care that they need.

By hiring Tatum & Atkinson: The Heavy Hitters, you will have a lawyer who is fully invested in your case. They will ensure a full investigation into the accident that caused your child’s injury.

They will collect evidence to prove negligence and build a strong case using medical evaluations, police reports, and witness statements.

The lawyers at Tatum & Atkinson are experienced and will help you determine an accurate assessment of the damages your child has suffered. Traumatic brain injuries can affect every aspect of your child’s life as well as the parent’s life, including their finances.

Rehabilitation is expensive, and you should not have to worry about being able to afford your child’s treatment, medications, special equipment, or other care that they need as a result of someone else’s negligent actions. Our lawyers will make sure your compensation is enough to cover everything needed.

You should not have to fight for what you are legally entitled to receive, especially while your child is in recovery. The attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson are aggressive and will not stop fighting on your child’s behalf until you recover everything that is rightfully yours.

If your child has suffered from the effects of a traumatic brain injury, you should have all the support you can get. For a free consultation about your case, call (800) LAW-0804 today to get your process started. When we take your case, we won’t charge you anything until we win or settle it for you.