Children and Traumatic Brain Injury

bike-helmet-child

Spring is officially here!  As the snow melts (finally!) it’s time to break out the bicycles, scooters, skateboards and rollerblades.  Outdoor activities are a fun way to get kids moving and socialize, but if proper safety precautions are not taken, sports such as these can cause Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).  A TBI can be devastating, and can cause concussions or even comas, often resulting in deficits in a child’s memory, cognition, speech, language and feeding skills.

Possible Effects of TBI:

  • Loss of short term memory
  • Loss of sight or the ability to recognize objects
  • Loss of gross motor skills (walking, throwing)
  • Loss of fine motor skills (writing, holding a fork)
  • Loss of oral motor skills (skills needed for eating, articulation)
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Loss of emotions
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Increased anger and frustration
  • Depression
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Aphasia (word finding difficulty or difficulty expressing ideas through spoken language)
  • Dysarthria (reduced muscle tone in oral musculature)

Tips to Staying Safe:

  1. ALWAYS wear a helmet that fits properly. Protect your brain!
  2. Check your equipment—Are the tires inflated? Do the brakes work?
  3. Make sure you and your child can be seen. Wear bright colors and avoid riding in the street once the sun goes down.
  4. Be aware of any large potholes or obstructions on the road.
  5. Obey all traffic laws and ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
  6. Be alert! Warn your children if there is a car approaching and ride closer to the side of the road.

Have a fun and safe spring, everyone! 🙂

Nicole C.

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