Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Definition: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is caused by a blow or jolt to the head which disrupts normal brain function or by a foreign object penetrating the skull. Studies have found that the four most common causes of TBIs are falls, motor vehicle and traffic accidents, struck by/against events, and assaults (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations and Deaths 2002-2006 webpage).

Magnitude of the Problem: The CDC estimates that in the U.S. around 1.7 million people sustain a TBI every year. TBI is a contributing factor in almost one third of all injury deaths. In addition:

  • Each year nearly half a million (473,947) children between the ages of 0 and 14 are treated in emergency departments for TBI-related injuries;
  • TBIs are most commonly sustained by children between the ages of 0 and 4, adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19, and adults age 65 and over; and
  • TBI rates are higher for boys than girls.

Prevention: Strategies for preventing TBIs include:

  • Ensuring that new parents receive education on the prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome;
  • Installing safety gates on stairs and guards on windows to prevent falls by young children;
  • Practicing proper traffic safety, such as wearing a seatbelt and using child safety seats or booster seats for children;
  • Providing a soft landing surface below playground equipment;
  • Using appropriate protective equipment while engaging in sports (e.g., wearing a helmet while bicycling or snowboarding);
  • Providing training to coaches and officials so that they can take steps to prevent sport-related TBIs and can recognize TBIs and respond appropriately when these injuries do occur; and
  • Educating parents and young athletes so that they understand the risks and recognize the signs and symptoms of sport-related TBIs.

Traumatic Brain Injury among Children and Youth: Understanding TBI and One Model State Program

Reports of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) among adults, particularly in professional sports, are often in the news. But what about TBIs among children and youth? In 2012, an estimated 329,290 children (age 19 or younger) were treated in emergency departments (EDs) for sports and recreation-related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or TBI. From 2001 to 2012, the rate of ED visits for sports and recreation-related injuries with a diagnosis of concussion or TBI, alone or in combination with other injuries, more than doubled among children (age 19 or younger).

CSN Webinar
Feb 21 2019

New CSN Resources on the Costs of Childhood Injuries

Release Date: 
2017-11-28 00:00:00

In 2015, injuries caused 13,363 deaths in U.S. children and adolescents aged 0-19. In addition, injuries were responsible for 200,225 hospitalizations and almost 7.7 million emergency department (ED) visits in this population (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], WISQARS, 2017). One important way to understand the burden of childhood injuries is by looking at the costs of those injuries.

The Medical Costs of Childhood Injuries: Deaths

In 2015, the total medical costs of injury-related deaths of children age 19 and younger was $153.2 million. This infographic breaks out the medical cost of child deaths by injury topic.

Download a PDF of the infographic for printing

This is part of a series on the costs of childhood injuries.

Additional infographics on the medical costs of childhood injuries:

Resource Type: 
CSN Infographic

Costs of Leading Childhood Injuries Fact Sheet

This fact sheet covers the costs of childhood injuries, including medical costs, work loss costs, and quality of life loss costs. Work loss costs include lost wages of injured persons and lost household work, or, in the case of fatality, lost earnings and household work over the victim’s expected remaining lifespan in the absence of premature death.

Resource Type: 
CSN Publications

Evidence-Based Strategies and Readings in Five Injury Topics

This publication lists evidence-based strategies and readings on child passenger safety, falls prevention, interpersonal violence prevention, suicide and self-harm prevention, and teen driver safety.

Resource Type: 
CSN Publications

Stories of Innovation: Collecting Real-Time Outcomes Data for Injury Prevention

Participants in the Child Safety Collaborative Innovation and Improvement Network (CS CoIIN) are identifying and developing innovative ways to collect real-time outcomes data. Typically, data on injury-related deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department (ED) visits are centrally collected at the state level. On an annual basis, these data are cleaned by the state, released, and submitted to a national dataset. The cleaning and release process leads to a two-year or more delay in the availability of the data.

Resource Type: 
CSN Publications

Traumatic Brain Injury among Children and Adolescents Treated in Emergency Departments, United States 2007-2010

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), defined here as a concussion, skull fracture, or internal brain injury, can have life-long cognitive, physical, and financial impacts. Preventing these injuries requires an understanding of what causes them. To understand the causes of TBI, the Children’s Safety Network (CSN) explored emergency department (ED) treated TBIs among 0 through 19 year olds in terms of intent, activity, and object involved. Unless otherwise noted, all data in this fact sheet come from analysis of NEISS and NEISS-AIP data.

Resource Type: 
CSN Publications


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