Child Injury from Automobile Accidents
Children, especially toddlers, are the most vulnerable to serious injury and wrongful death from car crashes. Even if placed in size and age-appropriate car seats, auto accidents are still a primary cause of child injury. One reason is that they never see an accident coming. Adult drivers and passengers often know in advance and can brace themselves for impact. Children do not and are unaware until the impact is already occurring.
Side impacts are especially destructive as their heads are jerked violently to the side causing substantial neck injury. The defense in preventing serious child injury from crashes is to make certain they are always placed in appropriately sized car safety seats and that these seats are properly secured inside the vehicle. As your child grows, the technology of safety seats can be defeated or negated if not the proper height and weight limit are exceeded. If you plan to have more children, save the seat for them. If not, you should consider donating the seat to others so that their children can be better protected. Everyone wants their child to be safe and guarded against harm. Another safety measure that can be taken is to position your child in the backseat and center of the vehicle. They will be better secured from frontal impacts as well as side crashes. Also, rear-end collisions can be better absorbed as the child will be effectively centered in the car.
Because children are so fragile and susceptible to injury, you should have your child examined by medical staff after any type of car accident, even if it seems relatively minor and you feel alright. For the reasons we reviewed above, children can be injured more easily than adults, and they may not be able to effectively communicate where or even how much they hurt. Crying can be confused as just being a baby or any number of other reasons. However, it could be from an undiagnosed injury. And, of course, head injury in children is also a major concern as symptoms may be missed and leave your child untreated until it is too late. It is better to be overly concerned and protective than to find out later about something serious. CT scans or an MRI can rule out head trauma. You should also watch for changes in sleep patterns or strange changes in mood or cognitive ability. Because children are so vulnerable, you as the parent need to be hyper-vigilant to rule out any latent injury that may be missed or even ignored by others.