Traumatic Brain Injury is the leading cause of disability and death among children and youths. Currently, brain injury is responsible for the disability of close to 5.3 million Americans. One person will either lose their life or be permanently disabled from a brain injury. Annually, 1.5 million Americans suffer Traumatic Brain Injury. Out of these, the number of those who those who lose their lives has been claimed to be more than 50, 000. Around 80,000-90,000 people become disabled due to brain injury. Most incidences of brain injuries have been attributed to intoxication. 33-50% of the victims of brain injury were intoxicated when the incident occurred. Males are more susceptible to TBI than females. The injuries involve 21.2% of females and 78.8% of males.
Traumatic Brain Injuries lead: to loss of cognitive function such as memory loss; a decrease in neurophysical ability, for instance, loss of balance, and psychosocial disorders like depression and anxiety. The cost of healthcare and services for a Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor is approximately $4 million.
Many strategies have been put in place to reduce the incidences of traumatic brain injury. Children are advised to wear bicycle helmets and protective gear, certified by SNELL, ASTM and ANSI, when cycling, skateboarding or skating. Motorcycle riders should wear motorcycle helmets certified by DOT. The use of seat belts is effective in reducing injuries from crashes. Children and youth are therefore advised to wear a safety belt when riding in or driving a motor vehicle. Driving when drunk should not be tolerated because it increases the chances of being involved in an accident, which leads to TBI. Designated drivers should be used in case one is drunk. Drivers should obey traffic signals and speed limits to reduce accidents. Children’s playgrounds should be soft and free of rocks and debris to reduce the magnitude of injury in case of falls.
Children and young adult are at a greater risk for brain injury. Activities that involve a lot of collisions increase the chances of brain injuries like concussions. They include physical education classes, sports activities in schools and playground activities. Injuries in school may also occur when a student head hits a hard object such as desk, floor, or collision with another student. School teachers and staff members should be able to identify the symptoms of concussions, and have the knowledge to manage them when they occur to their students. In addition, they should set up prevention measures and programs to reduce the incidences of concussions. Lastly, they should be able to successfully incorporate a student who had a traumatic brain injury into the school system.
Traumatic brain injuries are common among high school football players and other sportsmen. However, most of them are not reported because the injuries are not taken seriously or the victims were not aware that they had suffered concussion. It is, therefore, the responsibility of schools to formulate TBI management plans to educate students, school staff and parents on how to diagnose and respond to concussions.
Brainline. (2013). Heads Up to Schools: Know Your ABCs — for Teachers, Counselors, and School Professionals. Retrieved April 01, 2013, from Brainline.org: http://www.brainline.org/content/2010/05/heads-up-to-schools-know-your-abcs.html
ThinkFirst. (2013). Traumatic Brain Injury. Retrieved April 01, 2013, from ThinkFirst: http://www.thinkfirst.org/About/Facts.asp