Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability in children between the ages of 1 and 14 years. The most common causes of TBI (traumatic brain injury) are motor vehicle crashes, bike and pedestrian accidents, falls, sporting accidents, physical abuse, risk-taking behaviors and assault. A common myth about TBI is that younger children recover better than older children or adults who have had a brain injury. The fact is that oftentimes children have poorer outcomes because early brain development has been interrupted. Sometimes it takes longer to see the effects of a brain injury in a younger child because they are still developing cognitive, language, speech, social and academic skills and must depend on adults for supervision and guidance. Children also have fewer memory skills and life experiences that they can rely on to assist them in their recovery.
Brain injuries can cause temporary or permanent impairments in physical mobility, speech, language, swallowing, behavior and cognition. Cognition skills such as concentration, memory, judgment and problem-solving. These impairments can make it difficult for children who have had a brain injury to become independent in activities of daily living or may make learning difficult when they enter or return to school. Children's Hospital offers and integrated program for rehabilitation including speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, therapeutic recreation, education, nutrition, child life, neuropsychology and social services. In addition, the hospital has a close relationship with Children's Rehabilitation Services which has TBI care coordinators throughout the state that help the child and family with community and school re-entry.