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Auto Accidents And How Whiplash Injuries Affect Children

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A study in the Emergency Medicine Journal substantiates the fact that there is a significant impact on children who sustain whiplash injuries. There has been a long standing debate among different medical practitioners as to the affects and consequences of these injuries on children. This controversy was due to many factors, but most prominently the lack of any significant studies on these types of injuries in children. In the past, cases involving whiplash injuries in children were overlooked in part because children either lack the ability to effectively communicate their problems or do not appreciate the nature and extent of their injuries. This lack of attention would often result in them not receiving the medical attention they needed and in some cases would result in long lasting consequences. These types of spine injuries can result from a number of different types of incidents, but in many instances are caused by auto accidents.

The study by Boyd, Massey, Duane & Yates entitled Whiplash associated disorder in children attending the emergency department followed 105 children who had been involved in auto accidents during an eight-month-period. The subjects, ages four to sixteen, had data collected at 5, 14,28, and 56 days after their auto accidents. Nine of them complained of pain on motion on physical exam, 47% showed pain on motion but no pain on physical exam. 60% of the subjects with whiplash injuries reported pain immediately after the crash, with 40% reporting the onset of symptoms the following day. Those who sustained even minor whiplash injuries were symptomatic for 2-18 days, and those with more significant injuries 2-62 days. This does not even address the psychological trauma as the study reveals “Recent work has shown that children are susceptible to and do experience significant psychological trauma after being involved in a car crash.”

Parents and adults should take action when a child has sustained a whiplash or other spine injury. Auto accidents, bicycle accidents, or slip and fall accidents can result in significant spine injuries or brain injuries. If your child or someone you know has sustained a serious whiplash or other injury, seek immediate medial attention and talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.