Children with a brain injury are at a greater risk of having a second brain injury. In a study from the University of Montreal, Dr. Bonnie Swaine followed 3599 young patients seen in emergency departments of two Montreal pediatric hospitals.Within six months, 2.4% of the children suffered a second brain injury and at twelve months 4.1% had a subsequent brain injury. The risk of a subsequent injury was 1.7 times higher for children who had a brain injury than children who had other injuries which brought them into the hospital for emergency care. As brain injury can produce a wide range of changes, even a mild injury can produce subtle deficits in coordination, balance or judgment which can increase the risk of a second injury.
Brain injury prevention cannot be overlooked for children. Appropriate safety restraints in cars, helmets for bike riding and skateboarding and parental care to reduce other risk factors are crucial to prevent the first injury and certainly reduce the odds for the second. With the Spring activities and return to active outdoor play, let's make it safe for our children.