Car accidents are always an unfortunate situation to get into because there are both immediate and long-term repercussions to consider. While the dynamic is different for adults, children in car accidents have it worse in some ways. The following consequences are what children could face for a long time to come.

Physical Injuries

The first and most obvious long term effect of children in car accidents is physical injuries. Any car accident attorney will tell you that injuries could be very severe.

Children are smaller and much weaker than adults. This means that any injuries that adults may face may pale in comparison. This is because the bones and anatomical make up of children are much weaker and less developed than adults. That means when they face injuries, they may have it worse and feel more pain.

While there are some minor strains and sprains that may take place, there are also devastating injuries that can take place in severe cases that involve speeding and head to head collisions. These include potential brain trauma and paralysis. Unfortunately, some conditions could potentially be permanent and last a lifetime. Injuries involving the brain could predispose to issues with walking, coordination, memory and other important neurological functions because of the amount of influence the brain has on the human body.

Kids who are in car accidents may also suffer cuts when they come into contact with debris, broken glass and sharp metal. Depending on the side of the gash, this could give way to even deeper repercussions such as infection due to the exposed skin surface. Serious infections like sepsis can occur in more serious cases. Cosmetically speaking, deep scars could potentially be permanent and expensive reconstructive surgery may be needed to correct the issue.

Burns is also another concern with children in car accidents. This can occur in crashes where the gas tank or fuel line in vehicles are ruptured, triggering an explosion. Thermal burns with parts of the car that are hot could be easily attained. If a child is, unfortunately, being dragged for a distance, friction burns may also take place.

One specific physical impediment that happens to be common in children is whiplash. Whiplash takes place when the spine and neck are forced in a backward and forward motion quickly due to events such as car accidents. Children only have about 25% of the spine strength capacity of an adult. This means that the neck and spine are not able to stand the brute force that adults could manage. Neck injuries in younger children could typically be identified through dilated pupils, abnormal breathing, non-cessation of crying and vomiting.

There are also concerns of potential bone fractures to vulnerable parts of the body such as the wrist, arms, and legs, back and spine injuries and internal damage to the organs with enough blunt force trauma.

Mental Health Problems

While this is not discussed nearly enough, children are also more vulnerable from a mental point of view when they get into a car crash. The bottom line is that any head-on collision is scary, but since a child is more vulnerable and not as emotionally stable as adults, the mental anguish that a car accident brings may not leave a child for an extended period.

Thousands of people die from car accidents in the United States yearly, and one of the most traumatic things a child may go through is having to deal with the loss of a parent or sibling because of an accident. This could predispose to depression for obvious reasons. Overbearing sadness, loss of interest in daily activities and frequent isolation from others can signal that a child may be showing early signs of depression or extreme sadness.

Accidents could also lead to increased anxiety, especially whenever a kid goes into a car. If the accident were to occur in a familiar place that they may pass by frequently, then the child may be on edge the next time they pass through that area. Not only when they are passing through that area, but children may be increasingly frightened just to enter inside a vehicle out of fear that another accident may happen again.

Sleep disorders are also not uncommon in car accidents. After a traumatic event such as a car accident, children may reasonably suffer from nightmares that may prevent them from getting sleep. The overwhelming stress of the event causes the release of certain chemicals that overstimulate the brain and causes one to stay awake. Flashbacks may occur, and disturbances in sleep patterns can change.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is common in adults after a car accident, but for children as well. Children who witness a close family member getting severely injured or dying already makes them be put at high risk for developing PTSD.

Living Adjustments

As previously mentioned, children are at a higher risk of facing severe injuries because of their increased vulnerability. With this increased vulnerability also comes an increased risk of getting a physical disability. If a child gets a physical disability, this can lead to living adjustments for not only the child but for the caregiver as well. Special provisions may have to be made to be transported throughout the house, eat meals, use electronics and even go to sleep. This is as a result of potential brain injuries that commonly take place in car accidents.

As you can see, children have a difficult road ahead in life after any car accident. Whether these are many of the physical ailments listed or mental challenges that can take place for years to come, the impact that a car accident can have on a vulnerable child should not be underestimated.

Car accidents happen very frequently throughout the country and are often caused by irresponsible decisions made by adults. If you are in the need for legal representation, you can consult a car accident attorney at the Bodden & Bennett Law Group, we will fight for the compensation that you deserve.