Head Injuries in Children in Car Accidents

Unfortunately, kids can be involved in motor vehicle accidents. Hopefully, they are properly restrained and have no problems following an accident. However, some accidents are so severe or if the child is unrestrained, the result can be serious injury, including head injuries in these kids. Head injury happens to be the most common fatality or cause of death in children who are occupants in cars, trucks or other vehicles. There is a great deal of morbidity of death. There are nonlethal injuries related to motor vehicle accidents and they are of great importance clinically. Doctors and researchers want to know the best way to manage these situations so children survive these injuries with a minimum of damage to their body and brains.

The purpose of a recent study was to identify the risk factors for and frequency of significant injury to children who are occupants in a motor vehicle crash. A large surveillance system was established with regard to crashes that was linked to insurance claims information in automobile accidents. A telephone survey was done to obtain the data. Incidents that qualified for the survey were those involving 1990-year cars or newer involved in crashes that had at least one child involved in the crash. The individual needed to be aged 4 to 15 years and the crash had to happen in one of fifteen total states. Data were collected between March of 2000 and December of 2007. A sampling of crashes was collected to undergo the telephone interview which was done with the driver of the car that was the insured vehicle.

When interviewing the parent of the injured child, it was determined whether or not a concussion, intracranial hemorrhage or skull fracture happened as a result of the accident. The researchers looked into the various variables that led to getting a head injury or other injury as a result of the accident. A grand total of 19,075 children ages 4 to 15 years were looked at. They represented more than 318,000 kids involved in 219,511 different traffic crashes. The rate of head injury in these children was about 1.08 percent. Things that led to the head injury included being in a rollover accident, being in a near-side impact crash and being in a frontal crash. Lack of being restrained resulted in a 3 times increase in getting a significant head injury when opposed to restrained children. If the driver was less than 25 years of age, the risk of head injury was 1.43 percent versus those drivers who were greater than 25 years.

If the occupant was older or younger than the mean age, there were relatively protected. There were several demographic and specific crash factors that were found during this study that might help the manufacturers of automobiles change the design of the vehicles to be more protective of children. The article did not differentiate between concussion and severe brain injury but this is a factor that needs to be paid attention to.

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