Pediatric brain injuries are alarmingly common in the U.S. In fact, according to the Brain Injury Association of America, more than 60,000 children require hospitalization every year because of injuries to their brains. Many of these injuries happen in motor vehicle accidents, unfortunately.
For doctors, pediatric brain injuries can be tricky to diagnose correctly and promptly. Because children are often unable to explain their symptoms, doctors often only realize there is a problem when kids miss developmental milestones. Therefore, if your child has certain symptoms, you may want to request a CT scan.
Symptoms of pediatric brain injuries
While your child’s brain injury symptoms may be different, most pediatric brain injuries come with a specific set of symptoms. These symptoms often include one or more of the following:
- Behavioral changes, such as increased irritability or persistent crying
- Eating changes, like refusing to eat or eating less
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Sadness or depression
The usefulness of a CT scan
Children who have moderate and severe brain injuries often have damage to the white matter deep inside their brains. A CT scan can detect interruptions to this white matter and tell doctors whether an MRI scan is necessary. It also can reveal injuries to other parts of the brain and skull, helping physicians to diagnose any brain injury accurately and quickly.
As a parent, you must be an advocate for your child’s overall health and well-being. Ultimately, if doctors are reluctant to order a CT scan following a car accident, you might have to put up a bit of a fight.