Impact of head injuries on children Researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles found a blow to the head can affect a child's mental functioning for years afterwards, depending on how severely the brain is affected. Children with mild brain injuries typically showed subtle effects that resolved with time, but for more serious injuries, the risk of lingering problems was significantly greater. Children who suffered mild head injuries showed differences in memory skill, atten tion span and verbal ability in the short term, but about two years after the injury most chilgdren showed no significant effects. However, the study showed deficits in verbal skills as a result of injury in younger children - those aged between 2 and 7 years at the time of injury lingered. The review further found that the long-term outlook was not good for children who suffered moderate-to-severe brain injuries. Children with moderate brain injuries lagged behind their peers in areas such as brain processing speed, memory skill and problem solving. For children with severe brain injuries, researchers found that not keepin up with their peers often worsened over time. They concluded that it is of the utmost importance for head injuries to be prevented in the first place through the consistent use of helmets and seat belts. This is especially crucial for younger children, whose brains appear to be vulnerable to lasting damage.
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