What to Do After Your Child Suffers a Concussion or Head Injury
It is easy to panic and become distressed after your child suffers a head injury. If you have been paying attention to the news lately, you know that new research states concussions may be much worse than we realize. These head injuries could cause serious issues for your child’s development, and these problems may only get worse as your child transitions into adulthood. Faced with these potential issues, you might be motivated to do everything you can to mitigate consequences. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take right now to help your child heal in the best way possible.
The problem is that many of these treatment options and tests are expensive. While paying the cost out of your own pocket might be necessary, there could be another way: if your child was injured due to someone else’s negligence, you might have the opportunity to file a personal injury lawsuit and receive compensation. This compensation could cover the cost of your child’s healing process and ensure the best possible outcomes in later life. Let’s take a look at the specific steps you should take after your child suffers a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
What to Do Immediately After the Accident
Immediately after the accident, you should seek medical attention for your child as soon as possible. If your child has lost consciousness, the best option is to either call 9-1-1 or drive them to the hospital yourself. From there, you can receive expert medical advice and determine your next few steps. If your child has maintained consciousness, the injury may still be severe. You might want to try basic concussion tests, such as telling them a number to remember. If they cannot remember the number after five minutes, there is a strong chance they have suffered a concussion.
If the concussion seems relatively minor, medical attention may not be necessary at first. Simply resting is usually the best option – often accompanied by an ice pack and careful supervision. You may have heard that you cannot allow someone who has suffered a concussion to fall asleep, but this is actually a myth. Rest and sleep are part of the healing process. Unless your child has confusion, nausea, and slurred speech, you can let them fall asleep without fear of them slipping into a coma or dying. If these symptoms are present, you should seek medical assistance. That being said, you should still check in on your child every few hours while they sleep to make sure everything is okay. Use your best judgment and decide for yourself whether your child’s injury is serious enough to warrant immediate medical attention.
The Importance of Testing
Medical experts are increasing their understanding of concussions at a rapid pace. New testing methods could help you determine the severity of your child’s injury with greater accuracy. In 2022, an article published by the University of San Francisco stated that blood tests taken within 24 hours of a TBI could help determine future outcomes for patients. Specifically, these tests can help determine whether victims will experience severe disabilities in later life. The tests can even help determine the risk of death. The results are provided within minutes, and they may help medical professionals choose the best treatment options for survivors of serious head injuries.
The Decision of Whether to Send Them Back to School
After you receive medical advice and help your child go through the necessary tests, you need to decide when they should return to school. The obvious choice might be to let your child rest for several weeks – especially if they have suffered a serious concussion. But recent research suggests that it is likely beneficial to send a child back to school much sooner after a head injury.
Early evidence suggests that social contact and mental stimulation may help a child recover faster from a brain injury. The evidence suggests that children can avoid mental health issues like anxiety and depression by returning to school sooner rather than later. The ideal amount of rest time is between 24 and 48 hours, according to the study posted in JAMA Network Open. This goes against the previously-held assumption that more rest was better for children recovering from concussions.
The Decision of Whether to Send Them Back to Sports
With that being said, the decision of whether to send your child back to athletic activities is a different question altogether – especially if there is a risk that they could suffer more concussions while engaging in sports. In your situation, the initial injury might have been caused by sporting activity. You may be experiencing pressure from coaches and teachers to put your child back into action as soon as possible – especially if your child is a vital member of the team. It is important to consider the implications of future concussions and consider whether “winning the big game” is worth your child’s long-term health.
Consider Past Concussions
You should also consider your child’s history of head injuries when determining the best course of action. If they have suffered a concussion in the past, it is vital to avoid further head injuries. A recent study confirmed what many of us already suspected: three or more concussions can lead to much worse brain function in later life. Even though just one TBI can affect your brain function, the chances of much worse outcomes increase with each additional head injury.
Get in Touch With a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney in California
As a final step, you should get in touch with a qualified personal injury attorney in California – such as Mary Alexander & Associates. This is an especially important step if you believe your child was injured due to someone else’s negligence. However, a consultation can still help even if you are not sure whether someone else was to blame. Mary Alexander & Associates can investigate your unique situation and determine if you can sue. Sometimes, parents may be completely unaware that their child’s concussion was caused by negligence. Book your consultation today, and we can discuss your legal options in detail.