Head or Brain Injury | Frequently Asked Questions

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Contact the Brain Injury Center

Will my child be OK?

While some head injuries do cause lasting damage, most kids recover from head injuries with no long-term problems. The most important thing you can do for your child after a head injury is to seek medical attention right away. The earlier a head injury is diagnosed and treated, the better the general outlook.

How common are brain injuries in children?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly half a million children ages 14 and younger are treated in emergency rooms for brain injuries each year.

Can head and brain injuries be prevented?

There is no way to completely prevent all head or brain injuries. But you can reduce your child’s risk of a head injury by taking these steps:

  • Promote a safe playing environment, such as using playground equipment and toys that are appropriate for your child’s age.
  • Ensure that your child is wearing a seat belt or is properly secured in a car seat, whenever riding in a car.
  • Make sure your child always wears a helmet while bicycle riding, in-line skating, skateboarding or while doing any other sports or activities that carry a risk of head injury.

What do the terms “open-head injury” and “closed-head injury” mean?

 An open-head injury is one that has broken through the scalp. A closed-head injury is a hard blow that does not pierce the scalp.

What symptoms do I need to watch for after a head injury?

 If your child has been diagnosed with a head injury, you should watch for any changes in your child’s:

  • balance or coordination
  • speech
  • pupil size
  • sleep patterns or behavior

Report any changes to your child’s doctor right away.

Will my child recover completely from a head or brain injury?

Children who have mild to moderate head and brain injuries usually recover completely or have only minor complications, with time, rest and proper medical care. In some cases, severe brain injuries can cause permanent damage.

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We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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