Statistics on Children in Accidents
The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are scary. Of 2,776,000 total people killed and injured in the US in a recent year, around 208,000 were kids aged 1-15. Over 11% were those in the 16-20 age bracket, which includes many new teen drivers still in learning how to drive.
At least 6 kids under the age of 16 died in school-bus related crashes while on foot that year. 5,000 school bus children were injured as well.
Florida alone accounted for over 7% of national child fatalities.
We share these numbers not to scare you, but to show how often crashes can affect our kids. This is why it’s so important to know what to do if your child is in an accident.
What to Do If Your Child Is in an Accident
If you’re in a serious accident with your child in the car, immediately move out of harm’s way. Pull your vehicle over to a safe place and call 911.
This next part may be hard, but try not to move a small child. Check on them to see if they are alright but then wait for EMTs to arrive. Children, especially younger ones, may not be able to communicate their pain or injuries. You don’t want to risk worsening their injuries by moving them too soon.
After medical professionals check them out, continue to monitor your child’s symptoms. Many symptoms can worsen or show up several days after the initial injury. Even headaches should not be ignored, as they can be signs of severe problems like a traumatic brain injury. Keep notes of all symptoms and continue to treat with a doctor.
One of the most important things you can do is to contact a car accident near you. They will help you find the right medical care for your child and seek justice for their injuries. According to attorney Henry Gare, the legal process isn’t much different for kids. It’s helpful to have someone on your side who understands it. Henry Gare car accident attorney in Jacksonville can help.
How to Protect Your Child from Accidents
We know you want to keep not only your own children safe, but every child you can. Here are some simple ways to protect our kids from car accidents.
1. Stay alert – Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous and can have devastating consequences when children are involved. Limit all distractions, especially in school zones where most passengers are young kids. Watch for children who may be waiting for their bus or walking to school.
2. Exercise Caution around School Buses – The rules for stopping around school buses aren’t just there to keep you out of trouble. They protect children from terrible accidents. We explained the rules on when you must stop for school buses on one of our past blogs.
3. Keep Kids Safe in Cars – Not every crash can be avoided, so be proactive about your child’s safety in the car. Use the correct car seat for babies, and don’t be afraid to keep toddlers in a booster seat. These really can save their lives. Never let a child sit in your lap in the front seat, and keep them buckled in at all times.
4. Teach Your Children Vehicle Safety – It’s important that kids do their part to avoid accidents as well. Little ones should know to stay away from busy streets. Teach them how to stay safe on the school bus even if you’re not around. If they’re starting to drive themselves, warn them of the dangers of texting and driving.
If your child has been in a Jacksonville car crash call lawyer Henry Gare at 904-387-6101 for a free consultation today.