At Intermountain Healthcare, our pediatric and brain and spine physicians are trained to treat and rehabilitate children who suffer a traumatic brain injury. Learn more about traumatic brain injuries below.

Overview of Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is caused when any sudden injury causes brain damage and can be mild to severe in nature. Concussions are a common type of traumatic brain injury. Typical symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include confusion, convulsions, dizziness, headaches, loss of coordination, loss of concentration, memory issues, personality changes, and slurred speech.


Children are just as susceptible to traumatic brain injuries, if not more so, than adults. Common causes of traumatic brain injuries to children include motor vehicle accidents, falls, and child abuse. In order to minimize the risk of a traumatic brain injury to children, parents and other caregivers can:

  • Ensure car and booster seats are installed correctly and both age and size appropriate.
  • Use stair gates at the top and bottom of stairs to avoid serious infant and toddler falls.
  • Equip their children with a helmet when participating in activities such as biking, rollerblading, and other similar activities.
  • Find playgrounds that have child-friendly surfaces such as mulch or sand. Playgrounds with grass and dirt should be avoided.


Recovery from a traumatic brain injury can take place, especially in children. Each child's rate of recovery from a traumatic brain injury is different, meaning the length of time needed for recovery is difficult to predict. In many cases, recovery is a long process of treatment and rehabilitation. Studies have found that traumatic brain injury patients with the best outcomes receive:

  • Rehabilitation as soon as possible, even in the ICU. The shorter the wait time between the injury date and the start of rehab, the better.
  • Aggressive therapy for a shorter period of time. Treatment that is short and aggressive tends to lead to a greater impact as opposed to less aggressive and longer treatment methods.
  • Feeding tubes to maintain optimal nutrition. Although feeding tubes can be a nuisance for patients, they are well worth the hassle as good nutrition plays a big role in helping someone to successfully recover from a traumatic brain injury.

If you believe your child or someone close to you has suffered a traumatic brain injury, use our links (above right) to find an Intermountain location and provider you can contact.

© 2018 Intermountain Healthcare. All rights reserved. The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.