SSN Commentary

Better Recognition of Childhood Brain Injury in Maine Needed

Policy field

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Originally published in Bangor Daily News on March 5, 2024.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month in the United States. From CDC data, more than 3,000 children experience a brain injury in Maine each year, making childhood brain injury a chronic, public health crisis warranting the public’s awareness to better support individuals living with a childhood brain injury.

Most (about 80 percent) of brain injuries are considered mild or “concussions.” A brain injury of any severity can have chronic, persistent impacts on an individual’s life. Yet, every brain injury is unique in how and for how long it impacts a person. For children, experiencing a brain injury can change development and learning years after the injury. Therefore, health and educational professionals and even caregivers might not link the child’s difficulties back to their brain injury.