Who is Most at Risk for a Brain Injury?
These 4 demographics are most at risk for a brain injury
While brain injuries can happen to anyone, they are more likely to affect certain demographics. Age and gender are two key risk factors for brain injury, with the very young and very old being most affected. Brain injuries range from mild concussions to life-altering injuries that affect different parts of the body. Over 1.7 million individuals experience a traumatic brain injury every year in the U.S. Consider these profiles for the most at-risk individuals and how to prevent common causes for injury.
Young Children (Infants – 4 years old)
According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, making young children an at-risk group. Diagnosing brain injuries in young children can be difficult, particularly if the symptoms are not immediate or easily seen.
Unfortunately, even mild brain injuries in this demographic are very different from other at-risk profiles, because the brain is still developing. While logic makes it seem that the plasticity of a child’s brain would encourage faster and more efficient healing, brain injuries in children can actually be more devastating than the same injury would be in an adult. Even mild developmental changes can affect the way children learn and develop socially, analytically, and emotionally.
Contact your pediatrician or nurse hotline if you have any concerns about a child’s bump on the head or an accident. A professional can evaluate the symptoms and recommend the best course of action.
Teens and Young Adults (15 – 24 years old)
Teens and young adults are most affected by violent injuries and vehicle crashes that lead to brain injury. Violent injuries include impact injuries during assault or in contact sports. Many in this category may face permanent injuries that are highly preventable. Encouraging young people to wear safety gear and drive cautiously can prevent many of the primary causes of injury in this age group. Symptoms of injury may include loss of consciousness, trouble focusing, headache, dizziness, memory difficulty, nausea and vomiting, and more.
Even mild brain injuries during roughhousing or sports meetups should be evaluated by a physician, especially if the individual experienced a loss of consciousness. Keep an eye on anyone suffering from a head injury for a few weeks after the accident. Some symptoms of internal injury may not be immediately apparent.
Older Adults (65 + years old)
Older adults face the highest risk for death and hospitalization due to traumatic brain injury. Falls are the leading cause of injury in this category. Many of these older individuals are facing difficulties associated with the natural aging process, and suffering a blow to the head at this age can occasionally lead to other complications, including Alzheimer’s or dementia. Encourage elderly individuals to speak openly about their difficulties to prevent head injuries and to seek treatment if they ever hit their head during a fall.
Men are more likely to be hospitalized, visit an emergency room, or die from a brain injury than women, particularly in the teen and young adult age group. They are more likely to suffer from an injury because of risky behavior. In general, they are more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident, sports accident, violent exchange, or workplace accident. Car insurance companies often charge young men a higher premium than women because of the statistics on injury.
Many brain injury accidents are completely avoidable. Simple precautions can lessen the impact of the injury or prevent it altogether. Recovery from a brain injury is different for everyone, making brain injuries a very specific traumatic experience. If you or a loved one has suffered from a brain injury in an accident, reach out to the Dallas brain injury attorney at The Benton Law Firm to learn more about taking action against the responsible party.