Prognosis of Children in Auto Accidents
I’m Ed Smith, a Car Accident Attorney in Sacramento. For most parents, their children are the most prized part of their life. They feel an urge to protect them from everything wrong with this world; however, this can be difficult when an auto accident happens. Like injuries sustained in any other fashion, some of the injuries that children sustained in a car accident are worse than others. Recently, an extensive study was conducted to try and track the prognosis of children in auto accidents.
Mechanism of Injuries Sustained in an Auto Accident
The world of auto accidents is as wide and varied as the injuries that people sustain in them. Depending on the size and age of the child (as well as the type and severity of the auto accident), the injuries sustained will be different. In younger children (such as babies and toddlers), traumatic injuries are often sustained from improper seating. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:
Car Seats: Children must sit in rear-facing (face looking at the back of the vehicle) car seats in the back of the car until about 3 years of age in order to protect their head against traumatic brain injuries.
Forward-Facing: In school-aged children, it is a good idea to use a forward-facing car seat until they grow to the proper height and weight to move to a booster seat. The guidelines are typically on the packages.
Booster Seat: Kids should sit in a booster seat until they grow to 4-feet 9-inches. Most kids attain this height before the age of 13. Kids under 13 should sit in the back.
If kids aren’t in the proper seating, they can develop head and brain injuries, bone fractures, and internal organ damage from a serious car accident. A recent medical research document has been published reviewing the prognosis of various injuries in children.
The Prognosis Depends on the Severity
Based on the results of the research study, the prognosis of the children depended heavily on the severity of the accident that the children were involved in. Those who had relatively minor bone fractures healed within a few weeks in a cast without any incident. On the other hand, children who had traumatic brain injuries sometimes took weeks to even leave the hospital, not to mention the chronic complications that they developed as a result of their injury. For teenage drivers, there are several other interesting notes:
Adults: If an adult is in the car, the chances of suffering a motor vehicle accident dropped by more than half.
Teenage Passengers: If two or more additional teenagers are in the car, the risk of a car accident doubles from baseline.
Quadruple the Rate: If there are more teenagers than seatbelts, the risk of an accident quadruples. (Statistics from AAA).
The use of a seat belt also played a major role. Teenagers who were restrained in the car were more likely to make a full recovery. On the other hand, lack of a seat belt led to much more serious injuries.
Legal Help for Children Injured in an Auto Accident
Unfortunately, not every child or teenager in the study made a full recovery and those who have chronic complications can be put in a stressful situation. Families who are trying to make ends meet due to a child requiring chronic medical care should know that there are resources available to provide assistance in this stressful situation. An experienced lawyer or attorney can help families review the circumstances of the accident to ensure that no detail has been overlooked. Next, they can go over all of the options and help families make a decision that is in the family’s best interest. Do not hesitate to ask for help when needed.
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Image Citation: The image at the beginning can be seen on Unsplash. The picture has been printed here with permission.
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