What to Expect While Caring for A Child With TBI

by Nickey on March 1, 2013

Every year, it is estimated that around 1.5 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The impact upon families, particularly when a child is involved, is enormous. Listed below you will find some information on what may occur and some solutions on how to deal with this unfortunate and potentially devastating injury. 

Range of Injury 

TBI can occur as a result of a jolt or blow to the head. A prominent New York brain injury attorney, Bottar Leone, states “A TBI is commonly defined as mild, moderate or severe, depending upon whether the injury is life threatening.” Mild injuries can include brief changes in mental states, while severe injuries can include loss of consciousness. The most common type of TBI is considered a mild concussion. Often, this injury is left undiagnosis  This action results in the person not receiving the medical care and rehabilitation they require. Because it can be so difficult to diagnose, some people unfortunately die as a result of their injuries.

Prognosis and Recovery

It is very difficult for a doctor to predict how well a child with a brain injury will recover. This is due, in part to the fact that there is no direct test that can be used to make this assessment. TBI injuries can vary greatly. A prognosis will depend upon a great many factors – for example, the type and severity of the injury and the parts of the brain affected. The more prompt the diagnosis is, the better the treatment will help in the recovery process. This is why if a child is showing signs and symptoms such as those listed below, they should be taken as soon as possible to a medical facility:

1. More sleepy than usual or listless

2. Uninterested in interacting with people

3. Lack of appetite

4. Headaches or pain that lasts for a long time

The Changes

There will be many drastic changes for a child to adjust to, as well as their families, so preparation is key. Frustration occurs because they are no longer able to do the things they used to do. Other changes may include but are not limited to chronic pain and seizures. Some children with severe cases must wear diapers, are fed trough feeding tubes, wear oxygen monitors, and have to have a trachea placed. In home care supply needs as well as medical are endless. Some children will need special showers, beds, chairs and seating. Medications for skin break down, respiratory care and pain may have to be administered or applied often. Caregivers are encouraged to learn CPR as well as their child’s standard care procedures. Additionally, most parents lack sleep because of the necessary concern and love that they have for their child.


The recovery process is different for each child. Therefore, care can require from months to several years or a lifetime. This is because the brain requires a long time in order to heal. After the initial treatment at the time of injury, the child will more than likely begin a rehabilitation program.

Support Team 

The child with TBI and his or her family are actually the most important members of the rehab team. TBI requires special care programs that involve a number of professionals, for example:

1. Physiatrists are expert at rehabilitation medicine and usually oversee the rehab process.

2. Neurologists are trained to diagnose and treat nervous system disorders, including nerve, brain, spinal cord and muscle dysfunction and disease.

3. Occupational, language, speech and physical therapists help with regaining physical abilities and communication and thinking skills, as well as behavioral skills.

4. Neuropsychologists specialize in psychology focused upon behavior issues and thought processes.

The goal of rehabilitation is to help the child learn to live and function as independently as they can. Rehabilitation programs are designed to help the body heal and assist the brain in relearning. It is important to understand that rehabilitation can last for years. As if the emotional aspects of dealing with TBI weren’t enough, medical costs and income loss for parents can be extensive – if not devastating. Whenever someone is injured on property owned by someone else, or the injury occurred due to negligence of any kind, there may be coverage available to pay for the costs incurred. Therefore, the advice of a personal injury attorney is recommended, should there be any possibility that this is the case.

Researcher and friend of a loved one with a child who has suffered a TBI, Nickey Williams contributes this article to create child protection awareness. If negligence has caused or has contributed to a brain injury the injured patient may pursue a claim to recover losses. New York brain injury attorney, Anthony S. Bottar of Bottar Leone, PLLC, uses professionals who know how to investigate the cause of brain injury. They also have a wealth of knowledge from working on cases concerning brain injuries.



Legal researcher and Home schooling mother of two with a degree in Management.

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