Brain injury is the leading cause of disability and death in children and adolescents in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the two age groups at greatest risk for brain injury are age 0-4 and 15-19.
Among those ages 0 to 19, each year an average of 62,000 children sustain brain injuries requiring hospitalization as a result of motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports injuries, physical abuse and other causes. A staggering 564,000 children are seen in hospital emergency departments for brain injury and released.
Among children ages 0 to 14 years, brain injury results in an estimated 2,685 deaths, 37,000 hospitalizations, and 435,000 emergency department visits.
In its 2004 Report to Congress, Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes falls are the leading cause of TBI for children age 0-4. Approximately 1,300 U.S. children experience severe or fatal brain trauma from child abuse every year.