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brother and sister holding hands about to use a pedestrian crosswalk on the way to school

The fear and trauma often experienced by car accident victims can be made worse by serious injuries. For young children, this usually involves concussions. When your child is injured, the stresses of your own injuries and being unable to work are intensified.  

How can I tell if my child has a concussion after a car accident?

If your child sustained a concussion due to a car accident, you need to ensure they receive immediate medical attention and treatment. Then, contact an experienced Virginia brain injury attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to make sure your child’s rights are protected. 

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. A hard bump or jolt to the head can cause the brain to make contact with the inside of the skull, resulting in bruising, nerve damage, and damage to blood vessels. This movement could temporarily affect the brain’s ability to function properly. Concussions tend to occur more commonly in children since their heads are disproportionately large when compared to the rest of their body, and because the skulls of very young children are not yet fully formed.  

How Do Accident-Related Concussions Happen?

Thousands of children are admitted to hospital emergency rooms for car accident-related concussions every year. The violent impact caused by a rear-end or head-on collision can be strong enough to cause serious injuries to a child’s body. Car accident-related concussions in children are most often caused by:

  • Faulty or improperly fastened child seats: Virginia car seat laws state that children under the age of 8 are required to ride in the back seat and be buckled into an appropriate child seat. A faulty car seat or a car seat that is not properly latched into the vehicle may result in the child’s head being vulnerable during an accident. 
  • Defective seat belts: Car seats are restrained using the vehicle’s existing seat belts. If a seat belt is defective, the car seat could become dislodged during impact and thrown across the car. 
  • Making contact with an object inside the vehicle: The impact force generated during a crash could cause those inside the vehicle to be jolted backward or forward. A child’s head can strike hard objects, such as a window or a loose object inside the vehicle could hit a child in the head.  
  • Violent intracranial contact: This occurs when the child’s head does not hit a solid surface, but the impact of the collision is strong enough to cause the brain to make contact with the inside of the skull.  
  • Airbags: Although they are supposed to offer additional safety to passengers, airbags can also lead to serious injuries, including concussions.

How Can I Tell if My Child is Concussed?

Every child responds differently to a head injury and concussions can display a wide range of symptoms, so there is no one symptom that absolutely indicates a concussion. However, some of the most common concussions symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Persistent headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Vomiting
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Tinnitus
  • Difficulty concentrating

Bear in mind that symptoms can manifest anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after an accident. Concussion symptoms can be mistaken for other issues or not readily identified as being caused by a head injury. That is why it is critical to be medically evaluated after a car accident, even if you think your child is unharmed. 

A medical professional will be able to identify the signs of concussion that might not be obvious to a parent. With very young children, there is the added complication that they will have difficulty explaining the symptoms they are experiencing.  

Was Your Child Injured by a Negligent Driver?

Our Virginia brain injury attorneys know that nothing is more frightening than seeing your child injured due to another person’s negligence. If your child experiences a concussion or other brain injury due to a car accident, we can help. Give the Virginia Beach personal injury law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp a call at (833) 997-1774 and schedule your free case review today. 

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