Every parent’s worst nightmare may come to life when their children are in a car accident. Even a minor collision can lead to lifelong injuries, and they may not always be immediately apparent.
It is important to be vigilant and watch for signs that your child may have a serious injury after a car accident.
Altered mental state
One of the most concerning signs after a car accident is a change in your child’s mental state. If you notice your child becoming disoriented, confused or unusually drowsy, it could indicate a traumatic brain injury. Keep a close eye on your child, and seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms persist or worsen.
Loss of consciousness
If your child loses consciousness, even briefly, it is a strong indicator of a serious injury. Even a short loss of consciousness may suggest a concussion or more severe brain trauma. Seek immediate medical attention, as head injuries can have long-term consequences if not treated promptly.
It is serious when your child complains of difficulty breathing or chest pain. Internal injuries, such as broken ribs or lung damage, are possible after a car accident. Labored breathing or shallow breaths could be a sign of a serious injury and require immediate medical assessment.
Abdominal pain or bruising
More than 700 children 12 and younger die in car crashes every year, and more than 63,000 suffer injuries. Abdominal injuries can be deceiving, as symptoms may not appear immediately.
If your child complains of persistent abdominal pain, experiences swelling or has unexplained bruising, it could be indicative of internal organ damage. These injuries may not be evident externally, so it is necessary to seek medical attention to rule out any serious concerns.
Neck or back pain
Neck and back injuries, such as whiplash or spinal trauma, are common in car accidents. If your child experiences neck or back pain, stiffness or discomfort, it could signal an underlying injury. These injuries can worsen over time, so have a health care professional evaluate them as soon as possible.
Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and prompt medical intervention can make a significant difference in your child’s recovery.