March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, which was established more than three decades ago by the Brain Injury Association of America to increase awareness about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families. In Texas, 144,000 people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Many of them live with a permanent disability as a result.
Traumatic brain injury is usually caused by a blow or other traumatic injury to the head. The degree of damage can depend on several factors, including the nature of the injury and the force of impact.
Children are particularly susceptible to TBI and their outcomes can often be worse than they are for adults. Accidents happen at Texas daycares every day, ranging from minor bumps and bruises to serious head injuries that could result in long-term consequences. While many daycare injuries are truly accidental, others are the result of daycare neglect or outright abuse.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries at Daycare
Young children can easily hit the sharp edges of tables of countertops because they are just the right height or because they don’t have good spatial awareness. Older kids often like to climb or roughhouse, increasing their risk of a fall or other trauma.
Other ways children can get hurt include:
- Falling off playground equipment
- Heat stroke or hyperthermia, which can happen when children are left outside or in hot vehicles
- Physical abuse by caregivers
- Drug overdoses from illegally administered drugs
- Falling off furniture, including tables, couches, chairs, beds, or changing tables
- Falling off elevated surfaces they should not be on
- Falling down the stairs
- Having access to improper equipment or age-inappropriate or dangerous toys
- Slips and falls at daycare or outdoors
- Shaken baby syndrome
- Suffocation, including that from improper sleep practices
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury in Kids
Signs of TBI do not always occur immediately after the injury. Many signs can show up days or even weeks later. Always see the pediatrician if your child has received a blow to the head that concerns you or causes any kind of behavioral change.
Parents should observe their children for the following signs:
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
- Change in eating or nursing habits
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Problems speaking
- Changes in sleep habits
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of interest in favorite toys or activities
- Memory or concentration problems
- Mood swings or anxiety
What You Should Do If Your Child Suffers a Traumatic Brain Injury at a Texas Daycare
If your child has been injured and suffered a TBI, the most important step is to seek immediate medical treatment. After your child’s immediate medical needs have been tended to, it’s crucial that you get the details about what happened, how it happened, and why it was allowed to happen.
You need to get answers to the following questions:
- What caused the head injury?
- How did the injury occur?
- Who witnessed the incident?
- Was the incident captured on a video surveillance camera?
- Was a daycare worker being negligent when the accident happened?
- Did a hazardous condition at the daycare cause the injury?
- Is it possible the injury was caused by a physical assault or physical abuse?
- Does the daycare have a history of neglect, abuse, or injuries? Have formal charges ever been filed?
- How did the daycare respond after the injury?
If you suspect that your daycare provider has been negligent or abusive resulting in your child’s injury, be sure to report the abuse and follow up to ensure other children are not injured.
When children suffer a TBI, the effects of the injury are often not fully realized immediately. In fact, new challenges can emerge as the child grows up and well into adulthood. As your child’s advocate and protector, only you can speak for your child and help secure compensation for injuries caused by negligent childcare providers. Call our daycare injury team today. We are ready to handle all your legal needs and answer any questions you may have about your child's right to compensation.