Traumatic brain injuries are on an uptrend in girls, especially among those who are in high school. In the past, there was an uptrend in TBIs among boys, but it started to decline in 2012. One of the major causes behind TBIs in girls is sports and recreational activities, just as it is with boys. In Virginia, 28,000 people sustain a traumatic brain injury every year. Even so-called mild cases could be serious and take a bit of time to fully heal.
Leading cause of death
Traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of death in young children up to age 4 and older kids at ages 15–19. This type of injury is also the top cause of disability in these age groups.
May have a longer recovery period
Some research found that girls have a longer recovery period from a concussion than boys. Headaches, nausea, irritability and fatigue were symptoms that girls tended to experience longer than boys. On average, they had symptoms for 17 more days. Researchers suggest that one reason why this is the case is that girls report their symptoms more accurately, but they state that this isn’t the entire explanation. A female’s hormones also seem to play a role.
Research has found a connection between how long it takes a girl to heal from a TBI and what stage of her menstrual cycle she is at. Girls may heal slower when the injury occurs two weeks before their period because progesterone levels are low. Research suggests that taking birth control pills could cause females to take longer to heal from brain injuries as well.
Whenever your child hits their head, pay attention to any symptoms that arise immediately, a few weeks or even a few months after it. Symptoms of TBI don’t always occur immediately or days after the event. Common signs of a traumatic brain injury are difficulty sleeping, inability to concentrate, headaches, nausea, anxiety, irritability, depression, balance problems and blurred vision.
Traumatic brain injuries may impact girls for a longer period than boys. It’s important to watch for symptoms of a TBI up to several months after your child has hurt their head, even if it didn’t seem serious at the moment.