Kids & Whiplash: A How-to Guide to Dealing with your Child’s Neck Injury

Can Children Get Whiplash Too? YES, They Can!

Whiplash in adults gets a lot of attention, but how kids are affected by whiplash is often overlooked. In fact, children are involved in many car and motor vehicle accidents and can get whiplash too. Surveys have shown that up to half of children involved in accidents go on to show symptoms of whiplash.

Child Whiplash

Whiplash happens when the neck and spine or forced in a forwards and backwards motion quickly due to an injury such as car accident.

What Causes Whiplash in Kids?
Some Reasons Why Whiplash Can Happen

One of the biggest factors involved in child whiplash is the safety equipment used. Child car seats are often considered additional vehicle equipment and are not typically designed for the car they are in. In fact, studies have shown that many parents believe they are correctly protecting their child when in fact the safety equipment that they have bought is not properly being used.

  • 97% of parents believe that they are using child seats and restraints correctly and actually 89% are not.
  • 10%  of kids who should be in a booster seat are not.
  • If a booster cushion is built into the car, it reduces the chances  of faulty use from 77 to 4 percent, compared to loose booster seats.

Combined with faulty installation this can be a recipe for trouble.

“89% of Parents are
Using Child Restraints Incorrectly”

Why are Children Particularly Impacted?

Before puberty, children have a spine strength that is only 25% of that of an adult. For this reason, whiplash can have a longer term effect on them. Their spin and neck are weaker and unable to withstand the force that an adults can and so whiplash can have a longer-term effect on their health.

“Before puberty, children have a spine strength that is only 25% of that of an adult meaning long-term damage can occur.”

For Teenagers, Recovery Time May Take Longer

Older children (that is children over the age of 12 are usually affected similarly to adults in cases of whiplash. This is because their spines more closely resemble that of a fully grown adult and will respond in a similar way.

Toddlers and Whiplash

It can be particularly hard to identify whiplash in toddlers, with their limited vocabulary. If you’re looking for signs of a neck injury in a toddler or even whiplash in babies, things such as non-stop crying, abnormal breathing, dilated pupils and vomiting can suggest a toddler neck injury.

What Should I Do if I Think My Child has Whiplash?

If you think your child might have whiplash, you might want to do the following:

  • Take them to a doctor immediately. You should take them to a doctor or, in the case of head injuries or other serious injury, an emergency treatment facility.
  • Keep a record of their symptoms. If they seem ok, it’s still a good idea to note down any aches and pains or complaints, even psychological complaints that they have.
  • Follow Your doctor’s advice as closely as you can. Whether it be wearing a neck brace, taking medication, resting.
  • Keep a note of how the injury is affecting your child’s life Including time off school, inability to play etc. This may later help you if you have a claim.
  • Ask the right questions. It can be worth considering that children are not always likely to have an awareness that they are feeling sick and may not reveal their symptoms until they are causing a lot of pain. Because of this, it’s important to ask the right questions such as if their neck hurts,  if they can turn it or do they have a headache.
  • Seek legal help before you speak to your insurer. If the accident that caused your child’s whiplash wasn’t your fault, speak to a lawyer asap and if possible before you speak to your insurance company.
  • Make sure you follow-up on any care your child is receiving. Make sure that you go to all and any appointments with doctors or nurses. Even once symptoms have subsided.

“Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, if your child is unable to move their leg or arm.”

Whiplash Claim for a Child: How to Do it

A lot of people will be aware that they are a victim of an auto accident but not be aware that their children might be victims too and as a result are also able to get compensation.

If you’re child was involved in a car accident then it’s important to seek legal advice from an attorney. A child whiplash lawyer can let you know what compensation you might be able to claim for and how you can get back the costs involved in your child’s medical treatment.

Don’t Overlook Your Kid’s Injury:
Get Help for Them Today!

Children’s spines are fragile. If left untreated, issues can develop at a later date in their life. As a result,  any child involved in an auto accident should be screened for whiplash at an early stage to avoid any problems.