1 (440) 442-6677


Get Legal Help

Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

Learn More

Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

Get Your Free Guide Now
Get a Free Case Evaluation

Brain Trauma - general overview for common childhood brain injuries

At one time, it was considered that because children’s brains are still developing, they have a higher chance of overcoming the effects of brain trauma than adults with an equivalent injury.

Get A 100% Free CASE Evaluation     

In fact, there is more recent evidence that infants and children could be more vulnerable to injury because their skulls are much weaker.

An article on “Pediatric Head Trauma” appearing on the Medscape website reports that more than 80 percent of deaths from traumatic injuries of children older than a year are attributed to head trauma.

Predominant Causes and Signs

Most head injuries in babies and children are as a result of falls, automobile accidents, sporting activities and child abuse. The predominant signs are:

Elk & Elk
  • Penetrating injuries
  • Skull fracture
  • Concussion
  • Contusion
  • Hematomas that are either epidural or subdural
  • Brain hemorrhage

A concussion is one of the most frequent consequences of trauma to the head. It causes immediate loss of awareness of injury, which can vary in severity and last for a short while or several hours after the event.

Contusions are essentially bruises on the brain where blood has pooled after a hard knock. Along with bleeding, contusions are accompanied by swelling which can exacerbate the brain injury.

Skull fractures have several forms. The most obvious one is a linear break in the skull bone, but other skull fractures can occur at the base of the skull or as depressions in the skull. Fractures are also seen most often in infants along the suture lines in their skulls.
Even the mildest form of pediatric skull fractures should necessitate hospitalization of the child for observation.

Degree of Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain trauma is an injury that disrupts normal brain function to varying degrees. Injuries can be caused by a penetrating injury or a blow or jolt that disturbs the brain. Brain trauma in babies and children is a process rather than an event as it usually is with adults, and the effects of pediatric brain trauma may only be evident over time as the brain continues to develop.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, traumatic brain injuries can be classified as:

  • Mild traumas. Most concussions fall into this category, where patients lose consciousness for less than 30 minutes, or experience post traumatic amnesia (PTA) for less than 24 hours.
  • Moderate traumas. With these brain injuries, patients may lose consciousness for up to a day, accompanied by PTA for the same period of time.
  • Severe traumas. In these cases, injuries will cause a loss of consciousness for more than 24 hours and PTA for over seven days.

When assessing the degree of brain injury of an infant, specialists use the Glasgow Coma Scale. This is the most commonly used scoring system to rate a patient’s level of consciousness and helps to measure the severity of a brain injury. On this scale, the minimum score is three for a patient in a deep coma, and the maximum score of 15 is used to describe a patient who is fully awake and who has suffered a mild trauma.