It goes without saying that parents strive for the safety of their children. Kids are our worlds and we want to keep them healthy, happy and strong – ready for anything, no matter what age! Unfortunately, though, injury can go from bad in the younger years to worse in the later years according to a new study.
Turns out, perhaps a parents’ embrace is the safest place for a child. Here’s what the study had to say.
Our heads – and children’s heads for that matter – are heavy. Children have disproportionately heavy heads as they are slightly larger compared to the rest of their body versus the more proportioned adult. This can cause some balance problems when it comes to movement. We also know that small children can injure their heads from falling to the dismay of even the most careful parents.
Teens, on the other hand, begin to grow into their bodies, with less disproportionate heads. Yet, teenagers are at increased risk of head injury because car accidents become a part of the equation. In addition, teens tend to engage in aggressive fighting when compared to other age groups. And, many teens are involved in contact sports. With that in mind, the data has led experts to confirm that brain injury tends to increase as children get older. That might surprise a few parents.
The data is a part of a new report published this month in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers analyzed data from 43,000 children admitted to emergency rooms for head injuries between the years 2004 and 2006. The study revealed a few key findings. Infants and toddlers were treated for head injuries mostly occurring from falls. For children between 2 and 12, falls also contributed to the most significant cause of brain injury followed by an accidental hit on the head (such as that from a falling object).
The study had illuminating data when it came to teens’ head injury, though. Unlike small children, teens were at increased risk for brain injury for a host of completely different reasons ranging from assault (24 percent), sports injuries (19 percent) and car accidents (18 percent). It’s worrisome data for any parent with a teenager at home.
As for younger children and their reduced risk of car accident-related head injury, there is a glimmer of hope.
“If you look at the younger kids, the fact that motor vehicle accidents are not showing up as significant causes [of head injuries] probably means we’re doing a pretty good job on car seats and adequate infant car protection,” said one doctor unrelated to the study.
But when it comes to teen brain injury, there’s more we need to do.
TEEN SAFETY ON THE HORIZON
If you’re a teen or if you know one, share these tips now:
ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET. Perhaps a helmet isn’t the “coolest” thing to wear when you’re bike-riding with your friends. But the truth is that a helmet can prevent serious injury and possibly save your life. It’s completely worth it when considering the benefits.
WALK AWAY. Considering that assault is the top cause of head trauma in teens… Just walk away! Be the bigger person and don’t engage someone who is acting aggressive or hostile. You’ll feel better when you remove yourself from the situation.
USE PROTECTIVE SPORTS GEAR. Even if you’re playing football in the backyard, always wear a helmet and other protective sports gear. Don’t risk exposing your head to serious risk. Cover your head and your body and stay protected.
WEAR YOUR SEATBELT – ALWAYS. Make it a habit. Whenever you get behind the wheel, be sure you buckle up. It can save your life – and protect your head from further injury should you get into a car accident.
NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE – NEVER. It’s not cool. It’s not safe. Do not drink and drive. Be responsible and do the right thing. Call a cab, parent or a sober friend to pick you up. Also, you may want to consider signing a driving contract with your parents so you’re safe to call – even if you’ve made less-than-ideal decisions. Download our parent-teen contract now.
ABOUT MICHAEL PINES
Michael Pines is one of San Diego’s leading personal injury attorneys specializing in car accidents. As a trusted authority and advocate for car accident prevention, Mike has been a leader in fostering awareness on teen safety behind the wheel.
Our attorneys at The Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. are dedicated to the justice of injured people. We serve the greater San Diego area with a nationwide network of trusted professionals. No matter where you are, we can help. Call us now: 1-858-551-2090.