Around 4,500 children visit the emergency department in Massachusetts each year for traumatic brain injuries. Nationwide, that number is at 283,000. A bump or blow to the head could cause a TBI. The jolt to your head causes your brain to jerk back and forth. Your brain might sustain injuries like bruises and thus affect your cognitive abilities, emotions and bodily functions.
An increase in TBIs
From 2000 to 2012, there was an increase in traumatic brain injuries among children of both sexes. For boys, incidents declined from 2012 to 2019. Analysts believe that TBIs have gone down for boys because of new rules in contact sports. Spreading awareness of the seriousness of a brain injury and what to watch out for has helped reduce cases for boys as well.
Girls don’t play contact sports as much as boys do, which may be one reason their rate hasn’t declined while the rate for boys has. Any sport can cause a TBI, so all athletes must take necessary precautions to protect themselves and seek prompt treatment when they have symptoms.
Parents of boys who play sports might have more awareness of the seriousness of head injuries. However, it’s not just sports that cause traumatic brain injuries. Assault, abuse, falls and accidents are other causes. Hitting your head on the wall or floor might injure your brain. You may want to teach your kids about symptoms to watch out for after any impact to the head, even if it seems minor and doesn’t hurt.
Girls experience internalized symptoms like depression and anxiety more than boys. Males have a higher tendency to experience external behavior changes like aggression and substance abuse. Girls take longer to recover from traumatic brain injuries too.
Traumatic brain injuries affect girls differently than boys. Understanding these differences will help you know what to pay attention to and how to reduce the risk of injury. Both sexes need to take safety precautions during sports and take it easy after any hit to the head.