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Hidden brain injuries warning in children

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School nurses need to be alert to the symptoms of ‘hidden’ brain damage in children, warns a charity.
The Children’s Trust is calling for more awareness of acquired brain injury, which can be caused by head injuries sustained in a fall, or from choking, meningitis or a brain tumour.

It warns that on the surface children with ABI look and behave normally until put under pressure or in a situation they are unused to, for example the transition from primary to secondary school.

Fiona Adcock, head of the trust’s community support team, said: ‘For those with an acquired brain injury it’s around this time of year that any difficulties they have in thinking, making friends and managing their behaviour in class can start to have a major negative impact on their lives.

‘They can become isolated, fall behind and may end up being excluded. It’s vital that children with ABI are diagnosed and helped to reach their full potential.’

A NICE guideline, published earlier this month, estimated that around 5,000 schoolchildren in England receive injuries annually that can leave them with a hidden disability.
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