As brain injury attorneys, we often spend a great deal of time helping our clients deal with the devastating impact of head injuries. Unfortunately, sometimes the clients we represent are children and their families. Even though it is our job to help those families deal with the legal process, we wish that no family even had to suffer through caring for a child with a brain injury. While accidents can happen at any time and to anyone, here are some simple tips that can help you reduce your child’s risk of head and brain injury.
Rear-Facing Car Seats
In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated their recommendation on infant car seats. Rear-facing car seats should be used on children at least until two years of age. The report included information that indicated that children are 75% less likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries in a car crash if they are rear-facing. This is due to the fact that an infant or toddler’s body, including their head, neck, and spine, are still developing. Furthermore, their head is large in relation to their neck and the rest of their body. In car accidents, there is a serious risk of acceleration-deceleration injuries to the child when their body is jerked back and forth. However, with a rear-facing car seat, the head, neck, and spine are supported to prevent serious brain injury to the child.
Proper Child Restraints
A child should be kept in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible. Once they reach the height and weight limits of the rear-facing car seat, they should be restrained in a forward-facing car seat, then they should be placed in a booster seat until they reach the appropriate height and weight limit. A booster seat ensures that the seatbelt is located at the proper height to keep the child restrained. Children eighty pounds and under should always be restrained in the backseat. Airbags in the front of the vehicle are designed to protect adults, not children. The force of impact of an airbag to a child can be fatal or can cause serious neck and head injuries.
Helmets and Other Protective Gear
When a child is playing contact sports, riding a bike, using a skateboard, or using any type of motorized off-road toy vehicle, he or she should always be outfitted with a helmet and other protective gear. Even when riding a bike or skateboard in a driveway or in a secluded area, your child should be required to wear a helmet. Falling off a bike, even at low speeds, can result in an impact to the head that can potentially cause serious brain damage.
Head Injury Attorneys
We genuinely hope that you and your family are safe and healthy and never require our services. However, if your child was injured in an accident and suffered any type of head injury, please call us today to speak about filing a personal injury claim.