An American based research paper has been published with what appears to be quite alarming figures regarding the increasing numbers of children under the age of five sustaining head injuries whilst in strollers or prams since 1990.
Whilst at first blush this is concerning, dig a little deeper and one suspects this is the result of an increasing awareness and therefore diagnosis of traumatic brain injury over the last decade or two – rather than equipment becoming less safe or parents/carers becoming less risk adverse. Indeed, it’s likely that similar increases will be seen across the Atlantic in the UK in all age groups and in all walks of life. Brain injury charities such as Headway, work tirelessly to increase awareness of acquired brain injury (“ABI”) and how often subtle symptoms of head trauma may present themselves. As a result, whereas in the past incidents of ABI may have gone undiagnosed, untreated and therefore unreported, nowadays medical professionals are far better equipped in identifying potential head trauma.
In sport for example, we can see a far more conservative approach being taken in respect of suspected concussions (i.e. with the introduction of Rugby’s pitch side concussion tests). These advances in understanding will undoubtedly lead to increased figures of reported head injury incidents. In everyday life, increasing guidance has also been provided to GPs who are often the first point of contact for someone experiencing symptoms related to head trauma.
In summary therefore, whilst this report certainly highlights the need for greater care when using prams (e.g. not hanging heavy items off the back to avoid tipping risks) I would suggest the figures also demonstrate the positive impact greater awareness of ABI is having on victims and these tasked with their care.
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