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What Are the Risks of Concussion for a Child in a Car Accident

What are the risks of concussion for a child in a car accident in Louisville or across Kentucky?  Many parents believe car seats are a protective cocoon which help to prevent injuries to a child in a car accident.  The substantial design and safety restraints built into a child car seat do help to substantially reduce the likelihood of injury in many collisions, however they do nothing to protect the head of the child – especially during the severe forces of impact associated with a motor vehicle accident.

What causes a concussion?  Your child’s head does not have to come into contact with any internal component of the car or foreign object thrown about by the accident to suffer a concussion.  The brain is basically suspended in fluid as part of the body’s natural defense against injury.  Concussions and traumatic brain injury are the result of the brain moving violently within the skull, often simply due to the forces associated with the accident itself as the head lurches forward and backward or side-to-side during impact.

Your child will undoubtedly by upset and shaken up by any car accident, but may appear uninjured at first glance.  Concussions do not require the victim to lose consciousness, and symptoms associated with concussion and brain injury for children in car accidents can take weeks or months to present symptoms.  This is why it is vitally important to ensure your child receives a thorough medical examination within 24 to 48 hours of impact, regardless of how things look from the outside.

Recent advancements in medical technology have led to the development of blood tests and other methods to more accurately access and diagnose concussion and brain injury.  Concussion can be very challenging to diagnose and you should never attempt to do so on your own.  Common symptoms associated with the risks of concussion for a child in a car accident include complaints of ringing in the ears or “seeing stars.”  If your child complains of nausea or seems sensitive to light or sound after an accident seek immediate medical attention.

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