Following the death of Natasha Richardson from what initially appeared to be a minor head injury, some frightening statistics remind us that trauma to the head, if you survive, can be long lasting.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is more common than you think.
It is the number one cause of death and disability among children and young adults, according to the Brain Injury Resource Foundation (BIRF), a resource on brain injuries for survivors.
In the U.S., roughly 1.5 to 2 million people incur TBI primarily in vehicle accidents, falls, acts of violence and sports accidents. 50,000 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
15-to-24 year olds and those over 75 are the most likely to be affected.
Among sports, football has the highest rate of concussion with an estimated 100,000 injuries annually.
While more people are surviving TBI, due to faster emergency care, TBI is the leading cause of long-term disability among children and young adults.
More prevalent in males than females, TBI may result in lifelong impairment of physical, cognitive, and social functioning and is a major public health problems.
Children and TBI
When Susan was seven-years-old she was hit by a car while riding her bike. She broke an arm and leg but also suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Life was never the same for Susan. She cannot remember things, has trouble findings words and reading is hard for her.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) refers to an injury acquired after birth. It manifests itself long after the bones have healed.
In school, students such as Susan may have difficulty thinking and reasoning and paying attention. Problem solving may be difficult as well as thinking abstractly. They may have behavior problems.
With more than one million children brain injured each year, approximately 30,000 youngsters have lifelong disabilities and may be considered emotionally disturbed or mentally retarded, says BIRF.
Most parents believe if they put a helmet on the child’s head, they’ve done their job.
Safe Kids Worldwide finds one in three kids do not wear their helmet correctly, which means it may not protect the way it should.
The group reports many helmets have a “false “ fit, meaning they are too far forward, too far back or unbuckled, making them less likely to absorb impact.
The organization gathered data that helped develop the True Fit bicycle helmets (Bell Sports) which make adjusting a helmet to a true fit easier for adults and kids. #