The cost of head injuries revealed.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust has reported that head injuries are the most common severe injuries for children. Even a mild head injury can have lasting effects and more severe injuries cause permanent damage to the brain which can drastically change the lives of the injured child and their family.  

 The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE ) defines a head injury as any trauma to the head other than shallow injuries on the surface of the face.

A severe head trauma can cause injuries to the brain, which is known as traumatic brain injury. The range of severity in head injuries is very broad, from a concussion with no lasting damage, to long-term cognitive and behavioural problems, permanent disability, persistent vegetative states, or fatality.

The scale of the problem

  • Around 295,000 under-16s attend A&E with head injuries each year in England. Most head injuries are minor but 1 in 10 is moderate to severe.
  •  In England during 2010/11, around 36,500 children under 14 were admitted to hospital with head injuries.
  • Traumatic brain injury accounts for 30% of childhood deaths due to external causes of injury in 1-14 year olds. Children living in deprived areas are more likely to sustain severe traumatic brain injury.
  • Falls and road-traffic accidents are the most common causes of injury, with falls most predominant in the under-2s.

Table 1: Key costs for treating head injuries in children and young people



Cost Annual cost of hospital admissions in under-14s   £115 million
Annual cost of CT scans of the head in under-16s  £5.87 million
Cost of a bed in a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) £2,327
 Average stay of 3 days in PICU  £6,981
100 days of specialist inpatient rehabilitation for a traumatic brain injury £43,100
Approximate lifetime medical, educational and social costs for one child with a severe traumatic brain injury £4.89 million

About dbda
dbda is a corporate social responsibility consultancy embracing education and safety in the community. We are privileged to work with a large number of blue chip corporate clients, Government organisations, charitable bodies, Institutes and local authorities. We also have a network of schools, professional bodies, associations, universities and partners, with whom we regularly work in collaboration.

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