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Young children suffer traumatic brain injuries in crashes, too

Without a doubt, child car seats save lives. You may be a parent who knows that first hand after being involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. Regardless of the damage to your vehicle and you, your child appears to be injury free -- at least on the outside.

Even if your child appears okay at the scene, that does not necessarily mean it will last. Many injuries such as traumatic brain injuries often take time to manifest symptoms, and by the time they do, it could be too late to avoid at least some damage.

Your child can't speak for him or herself

Under a certain age, your child may not be able to speak, let alone communicate how he or she feels. Watching for symptoms of TBI can present a quandary when the victim is an adult, but when it's a child, the task becomes even more challenging. In the first few hours and days after a car accident, you may want to observe your young child for the following signs and symptoms that something just isn't right:

  • Easily or unusually irritable
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Change in eating or nursing habits
  • Depressed or sad mood
  • Persistent crying
  • Inconsolable
  • Change in ability to pay attention
  • Drowsiness
  • No interest in favorite activities or toys

This list fails to make it clear that your child could suffer from a TBI. Many of them could arise for a variety of reasons. However, if they come in conjunction with a car accident, you may assume a connection for your child's sake. If he or she begins having seizures or vomiting, that may also provide a better clue as to the fact that he or she may be in danger of having a head injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, you child you suffer permanent damage.

Because your child cannot speak for him or herself, it is up to you to do so on your child's behalf. This applies not only with the medical personnel attending to your child, but also with the insurance company. The other driver's insurance adjuster may attempt to minimize the severity of your child's injuries. Through medical and other evidence, you may negotiate a better settlement that may help with any current or future medical care your child may need.

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