One of the best ways to avoid a brain injury is to guard against the most common causes. Wearing a protective helmet could absorb up to 63 per cent of the impact. That could make all the difference between a mild or serious brain injury, or between life and death.
“At the moment it isn’t law for children to wear a helmet while cycling and skateboarding so it’s hard for parents and carers to insist on children wearing a helmet,” says Sally Dunscombe, director of the Brain Injury Group. “We would like to see the law changed but, until it is, we would strongly urge parents to reinforce these dos and don’ts for safer summer fun,” she says.
How to spot a brain injury
“A brain injury can be sustained even if your child doesn’t lose consciousness,” warns neurologist and consultant to the Brain Injury Group Professor Lindsay McLellan.
“In some cases, a child can continue acting normally for hours before they show any symptoms,” he says. “If a child is knocked out it’s pretty obvious they should go to hospital,” he continues. “But if they bump their head and don’t lose consciousness but continue to feel unwell, it can be tricky to know whether they have a more serious injury,” says McLellan. “If they continue to experience one or more of these symptoms, seek medical advice:
“If one of more of these symptoms is severe, go straight to hospital,” advises Professor McLellan. “But if the symptoms are milder or come on more gradually you should see your GP.”
The braininjurygroup.co.uk provides comprehensive support services for brain injured individuals and their families.
The Child Brain Injury Trust is a national charity that provides support for families following childhood acquired brain injury. Their helpline is 0845 601 4939 or email email@example.com