We have all seen the recent headlines of fans at baseball games being hit in the head – accidentally – by a foul ball. We are particularly struck and saddened when these fans are children.
One of these incidents occurred not far from here in Houston during an Astros game against the Chicago Cubs in May when a two-year-old girl was hit by a wayward ball.
She suffered swelling in her brain and a brain contusion as well as a seizure brought on by the traumatic event. She is still recovering.
Child Neurology Consultants’ pediatric neurologist Dr. Kate Labiner was featured in a recent television story on KXAN to weigh in on what happens to a child’s brain during a serious head injury.
“Anytime you get an injury, they [kids] will often take a step back in terms of the things they are able to do or “learned” to do. As a two-year-old, you are talking about speech and communication skills that could be affected by that,” says Dr. Labiner. “A majority of kids will get that back but there is no guarantee on how long that might take or how quick their recovery might be.”
She also points out that children’s brains may take longer to heal than an adult’s because they are so fragile and still developing.
Major League Baseball has stadium requirements regarding protective netting around the field to catch foul balls and protect fans. It is currently looking at increasing the netting requirement.
For questions or concerns about traumatic brain injuries or concussions in your child, teenager, or young adult, please contact us for an appointment.
The full story featuring Dr. Labiner on KXAN is available here.