Child Injury FAQs
Every child has the right to a happy, healthy upbringing by loving parents and caregivers in a safe environment. Unfortunately, children are often traumatized by injuries caused by another’s malice, reckless, or negligent actions that lead to their injuries.
A child’s nature and curiosity make them less appreciative of the risks associated with playing and participating in sports. The lessening fear makes them more susceptible to accident injuries.
Some accidents involving children could have been prevented had the child been supervised, not exposed to dangerous conditions, or did not play with the defective toy.
A child injury attorney from our law firm has answered child injury FAQs (frequently asked questions) below to guide parents and family members on what to do when their child complains of pain from an injury.
- When Should I Worry About My Child’s Head Injury?
- What Do I Do When My Child Experiences a Blunt Injury to the Abdomen?
- What Should I Do If My Child Experiences a Blunt Chest Injury?
- When Do I See a Doctor About My Child’s Knee Injury?
- Where does the Most Common Injury Occur When a Child Is Struck by a Car?
- At What Height Should a Fall Be Considered a Significant Mechanism of the Child’s Injuries?
- Why Do Children Have an Increased Risk for a Pedestrian Accident?
- What Form of Child Abuse Is Likely to Result in a Toddler’s Injury?
- When Should I See a Doctor About My Child’s Back Injury?
- What Type of Accident Is the Leading Cause of Child Injury Cases In Care Settings?
- When Should I Call My Child’s Pediatrician?
- How Can I Know If My Child’s Injury Is Severe?
- Do I Have Any Legal Remedy if Car Accident Injuries Caused My Child's Suffering?
When Should I Worry About My Child’s Head Injury?
The severity of your child’s head injury is impossible to determine without a competent doctor’s accurate diagnosis using the best diagnostic tools. Any head injury could be mild, moderate, severe, or deadly.
Call 911 immediately for emergency transport to the local hospital if your child’s head injuries occurred from a great height or high speeds or if they were knocked hard, losing consciousness, or vomiting more than once.
Every child injury claim is different. However, if your child is injured, they could quickly develop numerous symptoms in the weeks following a traumatic head injury.
In the days following the trauma, the child will likely experience cognitive fatigue during the recovery process that might be displayed as:
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Acting slow when responding, understanding, or thinking about a question or command
- Having challenges when using the right word to say
- Acting more anxious are fearful
- Being easily frustrated
- Experiencing noticeable changes in sleeping patterns
- Acting more demanding than normal
- Out of ordinary irritability and mood swings
- Repeated vomiting
- Double or blurred vision
- Experiencing convulsions, twitching, seizures, and for its
- Fluid discharges or bleeding from the nose or ear
- Clumsiness and diminished coordination
- Persistent, severe headaches
- Slurred speech
- Confused behavior
Your child should not return to daily activities until a doctor has released them for school work and sports activities. Consider contacting a personal injury lawyer from our law firm if you believe that your child was injured in a car accident, through medical malpractice, or sporting accident.
What Do I Do When My Child Experiences a Blunt Injury to the Abdomen?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, any blunt trauma to a child’s abdomen could be a significant threat to their health and well-being. Any blunt force on a small child’s abdomen could result in multi-organ injuries due to decreased fat and muscle mass that protects the spleen or liver.
Doctors recommend seeking immediate medical treatment in the emergency room or urgent care center for an accurate diagnosis by a competent physician. The medical team will likely consider the mechanism of child injuries, medical history, and any physical findings
Likely, the diagnosis will include imaging, including x-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, and MRIs, followed by close observation to identify any organ or tissue distress.
What Should I Do If My Child Experiences a Blunt Chest Injury?
Any difficulty breathing involving chest injuries requires immediate action by calling 911 for transport to the local urgent care center or emergency room. Any blunt force trauma to a child’s small chest could cause multi-organ injuries.
The blunt force impact to the chest can interfere with blood flow circulation and respiratory issues, causing a life-threatening condition. The blunt trauma might have fractured the child’s ribs, possibly puncturing along or damaging an organ.
The child’s injuries could be minor, producing bruising or other problems requiring urgent medical attention. However, the trauma might also have resulted in internal bleeding, possibly displayed by the child coughing up blood, extreme thirst, nausea, or clammy/pale skin.
Families should look for the common symptoms associated with blunt force trauma to the chest cavity that might include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling confused or drowsy
- Coughing up red-stained or yellow/green sputum
- Ongoing chest pain
- Bloody stools and urine
- Pale and clammy skin
- Extreme thirst
When Do I See a Doctor About My Child’s Knee Injury?
Consider your child’s pediatrician if any portion of their leg looks pale or feels numb or cold to the touch. The knee might be injured if there is bruising, swelling, or pain present.
Certainly, any pain lasting over twenty-four hours likely requires medical attention. Common symptoms associated with a severe knee injury and injury claim include:
- The inability to bear weight on the knee, feeling it is unstable (gives out)
- Noticeable swelling
- The inability to or fully extend the knee joint
- A noticeable knee or leg deformity
- The presence of a fever, swelling, pain, and redness in the knee
- Ongoing severe knee pain at the area where the injury occurred
Where does the Most Common Injury Occur When a Child Is Struck by a Car?
When struck by a car, the greatest child injury involves trauma to the neck and head. Approximately one-third of all child pedestrian injuries involve traumatic brain injuries, head trauma, and damage to the neck’s vertebrae.
Approximately one-fourth of children hit by cars suffer musculoskeletal injuries, followed by injuries to the abdomen and chest areas. Studies show that the point of impact in a car accident involving an elementary-age pedestrian is the torso and chest when struck by the vehicle’s bumper.
Contributing factors to the location and severity of a young pedestrian’s injuries when struck by a vehicle include:
- The vehicle’s speed at the time of impact
- The size and shape of the front of the vehicle that might have a low hood or metal-exposed bumpers
- The angle of the victim and vehicle at impact
At What Height Should a Fall Be Considered a Significant Mechanism of the Child’s Injuries?
Research reveals that approximately half of all children die from a fall around 40 to 50 feet (12 to 15 meters) or a five-story building. However, a fall from a shorter height can cause severe injuries, based on how high the victim was in the manner and how they impacted the surface when landing.
Studies show that survival chances increase when the child lands on snow, water, or other displaced, compressed, or bent (deformable) surface. Falling from a one or two-story height (10 to 20 feet) usually causes severe injuries but no fatalities.
Why Do Children Have an Increased Risk for a Pedestrian Accident?
Studies show that a child’s developing cognitive factors increase the risk of being struck by a vehicle due to various factors that include:
- The inability to pay attention – The child might not yet recognize dangerous traffic hazards or know how to respond to a threat of danger, like when walking or riding around heavy traffic congestion
- Insufficiently developed information processing – The child might be challenged putting together information coming from multiple stimuli to assess risks and anticipate and outcome when around vehicles
- Decision-making inexperience – The child might not yet know how to make a decision based on information input to ensure their safety, like when choosing when the Cross the street on foot or bicycle
- A lack of deductive reasoning skills – the child might not know how to discern where to cross the street safely using reasoning like anticipating how long it will take to walk from one side of the road to the other before the light changes
Most young children have insufficiently developed perception and cannot yet perform a crossroads visual search to determine when it is best to cross the street.
Other factors could increase the risk of a pedestrian accident, including being distracted, the child’s personality, temperament, and lack of parental or family supervision.
What Form of Child Abuse Is Likely to Result in a Toddler’s Injury?
Child abuse can take varying forms, including physical assault, sexual abuse, verbal humiliation, and psychological mistreatment.
The symptoms associated with abuse-related toddler’s injury include:
- Abusive head trauma – Forcibly shaking toddlers or infants can cause severe brain injury that might lead to permanent brain damage, spinal cord injury, or death. A shaken child could develop seizures, irritability, abnormal breathing, excessive vomiting, bruising, poor eating habits, and difficulty staying away
- Child maltreatment – The World Health Organization defines child maltreatment as abusive or negligent behavior against any child seventeen years or younger
- Battered child syndrome – This form of abuse typically involves sexual assault, physical abuse, neglect, or emotional misconduct. Law enforcement identifies battered child syndrome as involving physical assault against a child by a caregiver or parent
- Shaken baby syndrome – this form of abuse is similar to abusive head trauma, where aggressively shaking a toddler or infant for five seconds or longer could lead to severe brain damage. The injury is typically the result of the young child’s weak neck muscles, soft brain tissue, and delicate blood vessels easily ruptured by violent shaking, causing the brain to bruise inside the skull.
When Should I See a Doctor About My Child’s Back Injury?
Research shows that approximately 24% of all toddlers, tweens, teens, and young adults complain of back pain, especially overweight children and those involved in year-round higher intensity sports activities. Young students carrying the excessive weight of a backpack to and from school can also be sources of back pain.
Altering those activities and losing weight might alleviate much of the discomfort of upper or lower back pain. However, their condition might be more severe if the child knows that they were injured in a fall, accident, or another event that caused trauma to the area.
Consider taking a child to the emergency room or urgent care center for their back injury if the child is very young or:
- Experiencing weakness, numbness, and pain in the leg
- The pain keeps him from sleeping at night
- Common symptoms persist after several weeks
- They have comorbidities (other symptoms associated with generalized illness)
- Are constantly in extreme pain
While the warning signs listed above are not necessarily an indicator of a severe problem, a competent doctor’s accurate diagnosis can help identify any severe condition, especially those persisting for months.
What Type of Accident Is the Leading Cause of Child Injury Cases In Care Settings?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), kids falling causes the most accidents in children of all ages. Statistics show approximately 8000 teenagers, children, toddlers, and infants are treated daily in the emergency room for fall-related child injuries.
Many of these falls happen on stairs, from windows, out of beds without railings, on slippery bathtubs, in baby walkers, on raised landings, and in cluttered walkways. Falls can result in fractures, swelling, bleeding, headaches, vomiting, nausea, difficulty breathing, memory loss, and loss of consciousness.
Next, nearly every minor has a higher risk of an accidental impact than any other type of child injury other than falling. These accidents typically result from being hit by or struck against an object.
Those most at risk for an injury and subsequent injury claim in a child care setting include young athletes, distracted children, and child abuse victims.
Everyday objects that strike children include pieces of furniture, doorways, walls, baseballs, basketballs, or being pinned by a tipped-over appliance or piece of furniture.
Many young victims of an accidental impact require emergency medical care due to possible broken bones, difficulty breathing, swelling, bleeding, nausea, headaches, vomiting, or loss of consciousness.
Are you the parents or a family member with questions about your child's injury? Consider contacting the personal injury lawyers of our law firm to pursue justice if your child is injured in a care setting.
When Should I Call My Child’s Pediatrician?
It may be challenging to know when to call a doctor or not to be reassured that your child was okay after some traumatic event, complaint of pain, or injury. However, identifying any symptoms that your child displays can be used as a practical guide to know when it is the right time for the pediatrician’s diagnosis.
Common symptoms include:
- A fever of 101° or higher associated with irritability, lack of appetite, and not behaving as expected, like not stopping crying, might indicate that it is time to see the doctor
- Repeated vomiting and diarrhea can indicate the child has a viral infection, that if it becomes too intense, could be a concerning medical issue, including dehydration
- Difficulty waking the child
- Complaints of constant or sharp belly pain
- Constantly needing to urinate
- A burning sensation when the child urinates or blood in their urine
- Difficulty breathing might indicate a respiratory infection that could start as fever and the first few days, lasting at least a week or more
The social distancing required for COVID-19 and influenza to minimize the spread of viral infections makes it difficult to see your child’s pediatrician. However, many doctors now offer video conferences and checkups.
If you believe that your child is experiencing an emergency, call 911. Otherwise, contact the pediatrician to discuss seeking help over the phone. The doctor may coordinate the care your child requires without the need to go to the hospital.
How Can I Know If My Child’s Injury Is Severe?
Seek immediate medical attention if your child was injured and shows signs of instability, confusion, or difficulty breathing. Determine what type of child injury the person experienced and what they were doing when the accident occurred.
Any child involved in sports activities, roughhousing, playing outdoors, or falling could be significantly harmed, requiring an accurate diagnosis in an emergency room followed by appropriate treatment.
Check with your child’s doctor or emergency room physician if your child injury involves:
- Joint swelling and joint locking
- The inability to walk or stand
- The inability to fully extend the joints in the leg, arm, and back
- Any visual deformity in the joints, legs, or arms
- Signs of neck or back pain associated with weakness, numbness, and pain running down the leg or arm
A competent emergency room doctor or pediatrician can determine if the child has an acute injury, overuse injury, medical illness, or chronic condition. In many child injury cases, the person might also show signs of headaches, disorientation, blurry vision, loss of consciousness, vomiting, agitation, lethargy, dizziness, memory loss, moodiness, and fatigue.
Do I Have Any Legal Remedy if Car Accident Injuries Caused My Child's Suffering?
As your child’s parent, you have the right to recover your damages by filing a child injury claim if your child has car accident injuries caused by another person’s negligence.
However, all the required paperwork must be filed in the appropriate county courthouse before the statute of limitations expires. In most states, the statute of limitations is two years from the time the car accident occurred..
Typically, personal injury lawyers handling car accidents injury claims on behalf of families will contact the defendant’s insurance company demanding compensation for their clients’ damages. The personal injury lawyer will seek compensation to pay for the victim’s hospital bills, medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering..
Family members or a guardian who lost a child through another person’s reckless actions can file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, these personal injury cases dealing with multiple insurance companies are complicated..
It's a good idea for families to speak with experienced personal injury attorneys about the situation, and for the injury lawyers to file an injury claim on behalf of the victims to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.
Attorneys typically handled child injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. The plaintiff can file a claim with the agreement that ensures that they will pay no fees until after a personal injury lawyer has settled the injury claim or won the case at trial..
Typically, all information concerning child injury car accidents cases shared with a personal injury law firm remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship..
The attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC hope these FAQs (frequently asked questions) have provided important information to parents, families, and guardians..
- How are Children Injured?
- What can a Child Obtain in a Personal Injury Case?
- What are Child Injury Laws?
- What is Institutional Child Abuse?
- What can I do if I Have Been Harmed or Know a Child That has Been Harmed?
- Are Children Injured More Frequently Than Adults?
- Can I Spank my Child?
- Can I get in Trouble for Falsely Reporting Child Injuries?
- Do Children's Injury Cases Normally Settle or go to Trial?
- What Are Common Day Care Injuries?