In the immediate days and weeks following the birth of your child, you will likely wish to stay home and provide one-to-one close care – the prospect of a lengthy outdoors trip will probably seem to be too much of a needless risk. However, at some point, you will decide the time has come to take your child along with you on an errand or to visit friends or family. You may even decide to take your child to a dedicated parent-baby class. Whatever your reason for venturing out, the last thing on your mind is a car accident. And if you are involved in a car accident, the first tip in this list may be the hardest thing to do…
Step 1 – leave your child in the car seat (if possible)
If you have been involved in a jarring prang or light collision, there is a greater chance of minor injury than serious injury. Call the emergency services as soon as possible, and if you feel that your baby is not in any immediate danger, refrain from removing them from their car seat. The emergency services are trained in how to check for injuries in children – if you remove your child from their car seat, you could actually cause more harm than good (if your child is involved in a fatal accident then click the link for more information). Additionally, any photos of the scene that you are able to take in support of your personal injury and insurance claims can make the difference between your claim being upheld and your claim being thrown out.
Step 2 – remain vigilant regarding the late onset of injuries to your child
Depending on the age of your child/toddler, their ability to communicate will either be non-existent or somewhat limited. This means that they may be unable to use words to express their experience with the late onset of pain due to injuries sustained in the car crash. Instead, you need to remain vigilant for certain signs that your child may be experiencing symptoms of pain or suffering.
Signs of child injuries include:
- Crying (your child may be inconsolable)
- Disturbed sleep and general restlessness
- Your child refuses food, or may vomit or have bowel issues after food
- Diminished concentration levels (inability to focus on tasks)
- Issues with vision, speech, or muscle strength that were previously unknown
Step 3 – regular health checks
The return to physical and mental health following a traumatic event such as a car accident can be a marathon as opposed to a sprint. Regular health checks with a family physician can help to provide peace of mind in the weeks and months following your car accident.