Kids and Personal Injury: How To Cope With The Unforeseen

Whether they work out of the home or in the home, mothers want nothing more than to assure their children’s safety. Fortunately most working moms are able to raise their children safely and successfully before sending them out into the world. But safety and success don’t mean that childhood accidents won’t occur on occasion. Minor cuts and scrapes are part of the landscape of childhood. But when accidents lead to injuries, most moms hurt emotionally as much as their children do physically. Forewarned is forearmed. Here are a few things parents should know to prevent accidents, or at least minimize their negative effects.

Kids and Personal Injury: How To Cope With The Unforeseen

Children’s Accidents

It’s disheartening, for a youngster and his parent, when a child experiences an injury. Remarkably, childhood injuries occur more frequently than most people realize. In America alone, there are about 9.2 million emergency room visits every year due to unintentional injuries to children. Injuries resulting from falls, which can occur anywhere from a child’s home to a daycare, were the leading cause of these visits.

It’s important to note that some states are working hard to reduce these accidents. In Virginia, for instance, unintentional injuries in children declined a whopping 45 percent between 2000 and 2009. This rate of reduction was only 30 percent for the nation as a whole. Sadly, even in Virginia, 165 children still died in 2010 from unintentional injuries.

How to Keep Kids Safe

There are various ways that a mother can decrease the chances of her child suffering a severe injury.

a) Hold Hands:

Whenever, wherever they are, mommy and child should always hold hands while walking together. Any parent can attest to the fact that it only takes a second for an accident to happen. This is especially important in parking lots, and children should be taught that even if they can see a car, it doesn’t mean the driver can see them.

b) Use Helmets:

Wearing a helmet should be mandatory when your child is skateboarding, cycling, riding a scooter, driving an ATV, or roller skating. The rule should be “No helmet? No go!”

c) Use Back Seat:

Children aged 12 and under should always sit in the backseat of a car–yours and anyone else’s. Many experts recommend extending this to age 15.

d) Close Windows:

Just because a home window has a screen on it doesn’t mean that a child can’t fall through it. These falls can be fatal, so you should never open a window more than four inches in an area frequently used by children.

e) Ask about Guns:

Unfortunately, cases of children being accidentally injured with guns are rising. If your young one is to remain in another child’s home for a prolonged period of time, ask the other parent whether or not they have a weapon in their home, where it’s located, and how it is secured. If you own a gun, you should keep it in a place that your child cannot reach. And as an added precaution, the gun should be in one place; the ammo in another.

After an Injury

After a physical injury parents need to help their child cope emotionally. In addition to a lot of reassuring hugs, let the child speak freely about their fears. If the incident was especially traumatic, increased interaction with other members of the family may be comforting and may help them get back into a normal daily routine.

Parents can help themselves cope by leaning on their own support system. This can include family, friends, and other loved ones. It’s vital at this point not to turn to crutches like drugs or alcohol to help with the stress.

If your child’s injury is caused by another person, on the other hand, you should talk to an attorney immediately. In the state of Virginia, parents can log onto  and find a legal professional who can help recover costs related to the injury.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest issues raised after a child sustains an injury is finances, but there are support systems to cope with this as well. If you have no insurance and medical bills start to pile up, it’s important for a parent to stay in contact with the hospital, and let them know that the money owed will be paid. Offer to arrange a payment plan that you can honor without too much strain. Most hospitals will cooperate.

Keeping a child out of harm’s way is a full-time job in and of itself, and it can be a difficult thing to do for working mothers. There will definitely be times when a child sustains an injury through no fault of the mother or child. When these injuries do occur, knowing how to cope with the situation can help the child and the family get back to a sense of normalcy.

Writer and parent LaGeris Underwood Bell sympathizes with all working parents who strive to protect their precious charges from harm. To Virginia moms, she heartily recommends the services of Price Benowitz LLP should they need legal help after a personal injury to their little one.

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