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When kids are injured in crashes

The statistics for car crash injuries and fatalities are even more horrifying when you learn how many victims are children under age eight.

In 2015, 663 children 12 years and younger died in car crashes. In 2014,121,350 suffered significant injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control lists transportation injuries as the leading cause of death for children. The most common serious injuries are head injuries, including skull fractures, contusions and lacerations; injuries to the body, including rib fractures and damage to the lungs; and injuries to the brain, including concussions.

These injuries are more damaging, and often more permanent, than the same injuries to adults. Children who suffer brain damage are more likely to sustain lasting neurological damage, such as to the reading and writing centers in the brain. A child's frontal lobes develop later in a child's growth, so injury to this part of the brain may not be diagnosed until the child is a teenager, and it becomes apparent that the child is slow to acquire higher level reasoning skills.

Not all child injuries involving autos happen in collisions. Older children are often struck while biking or crossing the street. Children under age four are most likely to be struck by a car backing up. Many children are injured when a car is parked, and a door is opened into traffic.

A study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that the age group most at risk is not the youngest, as you might think, but those between age four to seven:

  • 14% Up to one years old
  • 40% One to three years old
  • 46% Four to seven years old

The reason for this is that children up to one year old are more likely to be protected by the right kind of restraints. Seatbelts designed for adult use don't protect older children as well.

These statistics are unsettling. Parents take the safety of their children seriously, but it is still a world of many dangers, especially on the road, where we spend so much time.

Children have rights. Your son or daughter is entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, permanent injury, or disability and at the same monetary level, as you do. Consult an attorney at Rosenthal & Kreeger LLP to learn about your options.

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