Childhood is meant to be innocent, fun and carefree, but we all know what can happen when a child’s boundless energy and/or curiosity leads to injury. For most of us, these childhood injuries amounted to no more than some bumps, bruises, scrapes and cuts. Some of us broke bones; others needed stitches. Unfortunately, children are also vulnerable to more serious injuries. When a child gets hurt, parents, guardians and other adults need to act (and react) appropriately so that the injury has as little effect on the child’s well being as possible.
Young children get their cues from adults, regardless of the situation. When an injury happens, it’s crucial for adults to set the tone by avoiding panic. Obviously, this can be difficult, but it is critical to the child’s ability to recover properly. One way to ensure that you stay calm in the aftermath of your child’s injury is to be prepared.
What can you do to prepare? Here are some ideas:
- Ensure that you know the location of your family first aid kit (and know how to use it!)
- Keep emergency phone numbers programmed in your phone
- Be aware of your location – how close are you to hospitals, urgent care centers and other medical facilities?
- Make sure you talk with your child about the differences between safe and unsafe activities
Understand How to Evaluate the Injury
If you’re the parent or guardian of a child, it’s likely that you will be the first responder when an injury occurs. Sadly, many parents simply don’t know what to look for when initially evaluating a child’s injury. Some simple observations can help you determine whether the injury is minor or if it requires immediate medical attention.
- Has the child lost consciousness?
- Is the child unsteady or dazed?
- Did the child experience a seizure?
- Is bleeding, if present, uncontrollable?
- Did the injury cause a marked change in behavior?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you need to seek immediate medical attention. If you’re in doubt, you should have a phone number available to reach your doctor (or a similarly qualified medical professional on call) 24 hours a day.
What If Someone Else Is at Fault for Your Child’s Injury?
Accidents happen and honest mistakes are made every single day. However, some people and businesses invite accidents through their own negligence and/or failure to ensure safety for children. For example, a child was seriously injured at a Texas trampoline park last year. The boy fell through the trampoline and hit his head on the concrete below, resulting in serious fractures bleeding on the brain and seizures.
Regrettably, the boy will likely deal with the effects of this injury for the rest of his life, all because the park in question was negligent in ignoring unsafe conditions.
So, what do you do if your child suffers a similar injury?
First of all, it’s important to seek immediate medical care. Every second counts after a serious injury, so you should avoid worrying about financial or legal concerns until after the child has been stabilized. If the injury turns out to be serious and you believe that someone else’s negligence was the cause, it’s a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney as quickly as you can. A personal injury attorney can guide you through the legal process, evaluate your case and ensure that you and your family receive the compensation you deserve.
Do you have more questions about what attorneys can do in the event of a traumatic injury to a child? Contact Goldstein Hayes & Lina today. We’d be happy to answer your questions!