Preventing and Identifying Injuries to Children in Car Accidents
Automobile accidents are always stressful and frightening events and can be made even scarier when your child is injured in a crash.
For children aged 10-14, auto accidents are the third leading cause of death, and for children between 5-9, the fourth leading cause. Here are some tips to help keep your kids as safe as possible, to help reduce the possibility of them getting injured in a crash:
Keep Car Seats Rear-Facing Until Age 2
Previously, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended keeping the car seat read facing as long as possible, but in the current policy statement published in Pediatrics, the AAP now advises parents to keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age two. Once they have outgrown the 3 point harness buckle, a booster seat (preferably with a back) should be used as long as possible.
Ensure Proper Car Seat Installation
Proper installation ensures that your child’s car seat will protect them properly in the event of a crash. As every manufacturer has different designs and construction methods, its important to make sure that your car seat is installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications. The owners manual for pretty much any car seat can be found online if you have misplaced yours.
Keep Children Under 12 Buckled and In the Back Seat
The back seat is always the safest place for a child to ride, and that goes for teens as well. Not only are they located closer to the center of the vehicle, but they are also less susceptible to airbag injuries. All children under the age of 12 should ride in the back seat, properly buckled up.
Understanding Child Injuries
Childhood injuries differ from adult injuries in several ways. Because their bodies are smaller, they can be more susceptible to internal injuries due to less space between organs and bone structures. For this reason, broken ribs can be more likely to puncture the lungs or blood vessels. Head injuries are also one of the most common car accident injuries among children. Whiplash is commonly reported and can occur at lower speeds than typically happen with adults. One factor that makes child injuries even more challenging is the inability for young children to effectively articulate their symptoms. This is where parents and care providers have to be extremely vigilant to body language and non-verbal communication in order to properly identify and assess injuries sustained by children.
If you have been involved in a car accident and you or your child has been injured, it is critical that you speak with a reputable car accident lawyer. Knowing what your rights are, and what you’re entitled to can help you make the best-informed decision about how best to proceed, and protect your family. if you have questions or would like to schedule a free, no-pressure consultation, call or email us today. We’re here to help.