A traumatic brain injury is an injury that we often associate with athletes or victims of accidents, such as a car accident, but new research shows that we should be concerned about TBIs occurring in children. One of the most publicized examples of TBIs in children is shaken baby syndrome. This occurs when a caregiver shakes a baby in anger or frustration, which causes the baby’s brain to hit the inside of its skull resulting in severe a traumatic brain injury.
Other more common examples of TBIs in children occur from a fall on the playground or a tumble when a child is learning to walk and may be clumsy. The Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio recently released a study regarding injuries from shopping carts. The study collected data from 1990 – 2011 and found that an average of 24,000 children per year were injured in an incident involving a shopping cart.
The injuries ranged from getting an extremity trapped in the cart to the cart tipping over. The most surprising data, however, revealed that 78.1% of these injures were closed head injuries. Many parents think of the grocery store as a fairly safe place, but in light of this data experts are urging a reevaluation of shopping cart safety. Safety suggestions include improving seat restrains on shopping carts or lowering the child seat closer to the ground, which would lessen the chance of a tip over and lessen the extent of injury due to a fall. Safety experts also recommend carrying small children in a front-pack, backpack carrier, or having them ride in a stroller.
Children should only ride in shopping carts when they can sit upright on their own and their legs can fit securely through leg openings. This newly gathered information should make us more vigilant in our children’s medical care. The potential for secondary degeneration after an initial TBI must be treated properly and by an appropriately trained medical professional. If your child has suffered a traumatic brain injury please contact the Washington, DC personal injury attorneys at our firm, who have decades of experience handling these difficult and complex cases.