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New research reveals a high numbers for those who suffer childhood concussion in the United States.

While traumatic brain injury (TBI) sounds frightening, many people are complacent about the term “mild concussion,” which is a form of TBI that can have long term impacts on health and function.  In research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics, researchers sought to understand the lifetime prevalence of childhood TBI in the United States.

To develop an estimate, the research group looked at data from the 2011 National Survey of Children’s Health, a telephone survey of US households.  In terms of prevalence, the study developed the following findings:

  • Scientists estimate approximately 2.5 percent of children suffer TBI in their lifetime.
  • Children who have experienced a TBI are at greater risk to suffer health conditions than counterparts who have not had a head injury.
  • Types of disorders suffered at a higher rate by children who have had a head injury include attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bone or muscle problems, speech and language troubles, developmental delays, and difficulty with anxiety.

A take-home point of the survey is that a high number of children in the US suffer TBI during their childhood years.  The research also revealed that states throughout the country with a higher proportion of privately insured consumers, like Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and others, reported higher rates of TBI.

Families with Good Healthcare More Likely to Obtain Medical Services

Researchers suggest that families with good healthcare are likely to obtain medical services after their child has suffered a head injury.  For families without adequate insurance, TBIs may go unreported.  Without proper treatment, monitoring, and follow-up, children may be left with the kind of disorders associated with childhood TBI like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Study author Dr. Juliet Haabauer-Krupa notes, “This suggests that access to adequate health insurance may affect the likelihood of seeking healthcare after TBI and this, in turn, may lead to higher estimates of diagnosed TBIs. In other words, a lack of adequate health insurance may result in some childhood TBIs going untreated.”

Healthcare providers, parents, and schools may underestimate the impact of TBI on the social, emotional, and physical development of a child during their school years.  Because the symptoms and impacts of TBI are so pervasive, children without appropriate insurance coverage may not be provided adequate—or any—medical care.

Any baby who suffers an unwitnessed head injury or child who suffers a TBI should be evaluated by healthcare professionals—their future may depend on it. If you or a loved one has suffered from an injurty please do not hesitate to contact our office of traumatic brain injury attorneys.

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