ADHD--Are Head Injuries to Blame?

Cynthia Dermody

Toddlers bump and fall on their heads dozens of times a day--especially before the age of 2, when they're still trying to get the walking thing down pat. Lately, doctors have been noticing that kids with lots of serious head injuries before age 2 are more apt to be diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) later on.

Wait! Before you freak out about the latest donut on your tyke's noggin, it's NOT the head injury itself that's causing the attention problems.

"Children with ADHD are impulsive, hyperactive, distractible, and inattentive, and are accident-prone, and thus more likely to put themselves at risk for injury," Dr. Heather Keenan, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, lead research in the recent study, told Healthday.

Which is why doctors found that kids with a lots of burns before age 2 are also more likely to have the condition. ADHD is largely genetic--about 85% of kids with it have a family member that also suffered.

In the study, researchers found that children with early head injury had a 90 percent higher odds of ADHD before they were 10, compared to other children. Kids with scalding and burn injuries had a 70 percent chance. 

CafeMom has tons of great groups on the topic if you want to learn more or trade information with others, such as ADHD and Us, Moms w/ Kids w/ ADHD and/or Bipolar, and many more.

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