Road traffic accidents main cause of acquired brain injury among children – Children’s Research Centre study

Posted on: 21 January 2005

‘ Living with acquired brain injury during childhood and adolescence: An Irish perspective’, a nationwide study undertaken by TCD’s Children Research Centre, was recently launched by the Minister of Health & Children, Mr. Michéal Martin TD. Commissioned by the National Rehabilitation Hospital, the study is the first of its kind in Ireland. Road traffic accidents emerged as the predominant cause of acquired brain injury in a census review of all children / adolescents attending the National Rehabilitation Hospital with an acquired brain injury during a 6-year period. Within the road traffic accident group, the most common form of accident involved child pedestrians. Acquiring a brain injury during the period of childhood or adolescence was a traumatic experience for the young people themselves and their family, according to the research. The children themselves experienced numerous changes in their lives such as changes in physical functioning, academic difficulties and limitations in taking part in activities. Many parents reported that their children suffered from social isolation and a loss of friends in the aftermath of the acquired brain injury. Family members also experienced many adverse consequences following the child’s brain injury. The absence of parents from the home during the period of hospitalisation and the intensive care-giving which the ill child required from parents following their return home had a significant impact on the lives of siblings.