Thursday, January 08, 2015

Major study sends clear safety message to prevent brain injury in children

Public Release: 7-Jan-2015
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research

Jan. 7, 2015 - An exhaustive analysis of data from more than 40,000 cases of brain trauma in children - published by the authoritative New England Journal of Medicine - provides convincing evidence that protecting children in advance from head injuries is the key to reducing their severity.

The new findings, obtained during one of the largest multi-center prospective studies of its kind ever conducted in the United States, show that the most common cause of brain injury among children younger than 12 is falling - typically from a moving bicycle, scooter or other wheeled device. Among U.S. adolescents, the three major causes of brain trauma are automobile accidents, assaults and sports-related injuries.


The bottom line on this prospective study of more than 43,000 pediatric brain injuries is that it identifies falls - often from bicycles - as the major cause of trauma in children under age 12. Knowing that, we're now better able to help educate parents and policymakers alike about the great value of safety helmets for this population of kids."

Dr. Mahajan said the data on adolescent brain trauma similarly underlines the vital importance of providing sports safety equipment and automobile seatbelts for teenagers.


Dr. Mahajan said his 18 years in pediatric emergency rooms have shown him the importance of prevention, and sometimes in very dramatic fashion. "As a specialist in emergency medicine, I've seen how important such preventive measures as bike safety helmets and automobile seatbelts truly are."

"On several occasions," he added, "I've treated injured children who had been protected by safety equipment and also injured children who have not been protected, during the same eight-hour shift in the emergency room. In most cases, the children who had benefited from wearing the helmets or seatbelts sustained less severe injuries.


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