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Brain Injuries in Minors Can Be Difficult to Spot

Brain Injuries in Minors Can Be Difficult to Spot

As adults, we are generally well aware of brain injuries — how bad they can be, what the signs and symptoms are, or how to even know if you’ve sustained them.

But what about minors and kids? Minors get involved in accidents and have traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), but we often aren’t as prepared to recognize the symptoms — or the long-term consequences — when minors sustain TBIs.

What Is and What Is Not “Normal?”

A big problem in even noticing that a minor has sustained a brain injury is the lack of an already established personality or mental effect. Minors’ personalities and moods and the subtle things that define a personality, are still developing in minors.

Comparing a minor pre- and post-accident is that much more difficult. That means that if a minor was, because of a TBI, more depressed or more confused, or suffering from more anxiety, they may not seem “different enough” for others to recognize.

Hormones or Injury?

This is made even more difficult by the fact that in minors, particularly teenagers, normal hormones can play a role and can mimic the symptoms of a TBI.

Anybody who has or who has had teenagers knows that teenagers can have drastic mood swings, overreactions, sleep a lot, or have other similar behaviors, just because of hormones. A lot of those hormonal changes are similar to the changes one suffers from after a TBI, and thus, a teenager’s TBI may easily and wrongly be dismissed as hormones or just “teenagers being teenagers.”

Minors May Not Complain

Minors are also less likely to complain about changes — if they even recognize the changes in themselves. Again, many teenagers may simply dismiss their mood changes on lack of sleep, or “being sad,” or they may just figure they are depressed or feeling “out of it,” or having the inability to concentrate — all classic TBI symptoms — are just normal things.

Of course, kids younger than teenagers may have no idea what is happening at all, and may not even have the self-reflection to recognize changes going on cognitively nor the language skills to vocalize their problems.

Adults and Denial

Often adult family members may have difficulty spotting TBI symptoms in their kids. Some may be hesitant to admit that their child has been injured. They may punish older kids who are moody, aggressive, careless, or apathetic, thinking these behaviors are voluntary, when they are the result of a brain injury.

Into The Future

Because kids’ brains are developing, it is also much harder to know how a brain injury will affect them in the distant future when they are fully formed adults. This is especially true with younger kids. When, say, a 5-year-old suffers a brain injury, we can identify changes in mood, behavior, and focus, but we can’t know whether that 5-year-old will have cognitive problems going into the teenage and adult years.

Contact the Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at Cameron Law today for a free consultation if you or your child have suffered a brain injury after an accident.

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