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When Bicycling and Kids Don’t Mix

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on September 19, 2019

Bicycle helmets save lives. We all know this, but did you know that helmets can protect children from learning difficulties and health complications?

Many children fall or crash on their bikes. Usually knees or elbows are scraped; but sometimes, children hit their heads. When a child on a bicycle is hit by a car, this is a special danger, but helmets do a lot to help prevent traumatic brain injury.

Helmets have been found to reduce the acceleration experienced by a skull during an impact by up to 87%, and resist up to 470 pounds of crushing force. That’s huge!

Why is a traumatic brain injury – even a minor one, like a concussion – so bad? How can it lead to problems in the classroom and in life? Let’s dive in.

The Long-Term Effects of a Brain Injury

A research team working in the UK, the U.S., and Sweden analyzed healthcare and financial data for more than a million people to study the long-term impact of having a traumatic brain injury. What they found was shocking, but not surprising: childhood brain injuries, even just concussions, are linked to an increased risk for mental illness, poor school achievement, and premature death. One of the researchers said, “The differences could still be seen between injured and uninjured siblings, indicating that the effect of head injury is independent of other factors, like upbringing.”

Here are some results from the study:

  • People who suffered a single brain injury (mild, moderate, or severe) during childhood were:
    • 60% more likely to do poorly in school.
    • 50% more likely to use a mental health service; twice as likely to be admitted to the hospital as a mental health patient.
    • 80% more likely to receive disability benefits.
    • 60% more likely to receive welfare benefits.
    • 70% more likely to die before the age of 41.

The odds got worse if the participant suffered repeated brain trauma, and since not every blow to the head is reported or treated, these frightening numbers are likely too low. The study concluded, “With such comprehensive data, researchers could also show that the risk of outcomes, including the likelihood of developing a psychiatric illness, became higher if the injury was more severe, or if there were multiple injuries.”

Meanwhile, the American Psychological Association has found out similar facts. Two different studies found that children who suffer traumatic brain injuries can experience “lasting or late-appearing neuropsychological problems, highlighting the need for careful watching over time…”

Yet another study from Biological Psychiatry found that physical brain injury in children can contribute to the development of ADHD, without any genetic component to cause it. The link between suffering even minor brain damage as a child and long-term consequences as an adult is quite clear.

This Science Matters to The Husband and Wife Law Team

For Phoenix child injury lawyers, like the team at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., cutting-edge research like this is invaluable. We keep up to date with the latest medical discoveries because this information helps us know how much money our injured clients need to address accident-related issues for the rest of their lives. If your child is struck by a car while riding a bicycle and hits her head, you should be aware of these risks and get medical treatment right away. Awareness of the potential issues and therapy will go a long way in alleviating your family’s stress.

To talk to The Husband and Wife Law Team about a car-bicycle accident involving your child, please call (602) 457-6222. Your consultation is free, and if we represent you, we charge no fees until we get just compensation for your child.

Posted in: Brain Injury

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