Car accidents are a common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Unfortunately, children are the most vulnerable passengers during a collision. TBIs can range from mild to severe, with moderate and severe TBIs resulting in long-lasting and sometimes permanent complications.
Finding out your child suffered severe injuries following an accident can feel devastating. Since children’s brains are still developing, TBI symptoms may manifest differently than in adults.
Recognizing TBI symptoms in children
Children have more difficulty expressing how they feel. Young children and toddlers may not have the language to express their feelings. Instead, monitor the child’s behavior. TBI symptoms in children include:
- A change in the child’s eating habits
- Persistent crying
- Unusual irritability
- An inability to focus
- Depression and loss of interests
Any behavioral changes following an accident may indicate traumatic brain injury.
Raising a child with a TBI
As your child starts rehabilitation, you become your child’s primary support system. TBI recovery takes time and your kid will experience good and bad days. Your job is to stay patient, encourage your child to see his or her successes and focus on the positives. Reinstilling confidence can help your child relearn lost skills and learn new ones.
Do not be afraid to change your parenting style based on the impact of the injury. For example, if your child has no insight into his or her behavior, you may need to supervise or restrict him or her more than before.
Recovering from a severe injury can make children feel isolated. To encourage socializing, involve your child’s peers in the rehabilitation process.