Whiplash Injuries in Children
If your child has been injured in a car accident and has suffered a whiplash injury you may be wondering whether you can make a child whiplash injury claim on their behalf. You may also be wondering how long your child will take to recover from their injuries and how much compensation they are likely to receive.
When you have dealt with your child’s immediate need for treatment you will need to monitor their symptoms closely in the days following the accident as the symptoms of a whiplash injury usually do not appear immediately, but usually become apparent within 48 hours. Your child may complain of stiffness in their neck, restricted movement, headaches, pain in the shoulders and neck and dizziness. It is important that your child is seen by their GP as soon as possible after their symptoms appear so that a proper assessment can be made and the appropriate treatment can be administered.
Although whiplash injuries in children seem to be less common than in adults, they do still occur and it is important that they are not overlooked. Reasons that whiplash injuries are less common in children than in adults could be that children sit in the back of the vehicle which is thought to be safer than the front and, in addition, children sit in specially designed child car seats which help to ensure their safety during an accident. However, if your child has been sitting in a seat which has an air bag activated – and the airbag has gone off as a result of a collision – your child could be more likely than an adult to suffer an exacerbated whiplash injury. This is because, as children are shorter than adults, they are more likely to be pushed more forcefully back into their seat (at head/neck level) which could cause damage to the soft tissue and ligaments in the neck. However, it must be noted that although airbags can often exacerbate whiplash injuries the alternative of not having an airbag activated in your vehicle could lead to much more severe injuries than whiplash.
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