While scars are most noted for their cosmetic appearances and can be the cause of embarrassment and lowered self-esteem throughout life, they can also be the cause of more serious concerns during the developmental stages of a child’s life. Pediatric scarring can be the cause of a major shift in the quality of life for a child suffering from severe scars due to third or fourth degree burns. Treatment often requires multiple surgeries and extensive physical therapy that can quickly become very expensive. If the cause of your child’s scars is determined to be the negligence of another party, these costs may be recoverable.
What Causes Scarring?
Our skin is extremely elastic and adaptable to changes in our size and structure as we grow taller and gain or lose weight throughout our lives. A scar is the destruction of skin elasticity due to an injury that causes the skin to lose its ability to stretch and adapt. Severe burns require skin grafting primarily because the scar tissue will never regain the qualities of normal skin again. Scar tissue can cause additional problems if the scars are located near joints or major muscles.
Complications of Pediatric Scarring
Scars located near joints such as on the palms, the soles of the feet, the arm pits or the back of the legs can become problematic because as children grow, the scar tissue remains fixed in its state rather than stretching and adapting to the body. In fact, scar tissue is known to contract in many cases, exacerbating the issue even further by working opposite of the manner in which our skin is supposed to. This eventually causes the limitation of a child’s range of movement in the affected joints and over time may even cause partial paralysis.
Pediatric Scarring and Long-Term Implications
One of the most legitimate concerns that parents have when a child suffers from severe scarring is the impact that the scars will have on the child’s self-image throughout his or her life and the social implications carried by the presence of noticeable scars. Children are often harassed and hazed for being or looking different and it is not uncommon for children with scars to suffer from depression and anxiety as a result. It may require multiple surgeries to correct the cosmetic appearance of scars and even then, some scars may remain visible for the rest of the child’s life.
In response to the emotional toll that scars have on children, many scarred children become home schooled and will never experience life in the same manner most children would. Sheltered children often miss out on the opportunity to develop social skills that will benefit them later on in their adult lives and can feel awkward or like a pariah long after scars have been repaired or corrected as a result.
Your Rights as a Parent to Pursue a Legal Claim for a Child Scarred in an Accident
Treatment for pediatric scarring often requires many surgeries, physical therapy and a lot of patience. Due to the emotional harm that is often caused, children may also require psychological therapy in order to address the mental and emotional issues that arise. If your child’s injuries were the result of another person’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation to cover the cost of these expenses as well as the physical and emotional pain and suffering that your child will need to endure for most of his or her life.
Contact the Chicago personal injury attorneys Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to learn more about your child’s rights and your rights as a parent related to a scar from an accident. We will be happy to arrange a free consultation and to investigate your case thoroughly in order to provide the best advice possible about your legal options and how to proceed with your case. In addition, we will answer your questions about the process of litigation and what exactly you should expect from your case. Should we be unable to help you collect the compensation that you are entitled to, our time, services and advice will come at no cost to you.