Caring for kids after car accidents

Watch Video: Caring for kids after car accidents by Alan Nager, MD, MHA, ...
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Caring for kids after car accidents


Kids who are involved in car accidents really have the spectrum of injuries. And in fact, some kids are in car accidents and walk away without any effects from the accident. So this is another one of those challenging questions where there's no automatic answer. I can't say as a pediatric emergency physician every car accident means that you should seek care in an emergency department. And so the parent really needs to use some judgment. So signs and symptoms that are good that would suggest that the injury is minor include very minor scrapes, a child who maintains their mental status and is still able to talk and act normally, a child who's able to follow commands, in other words a parent says, "Honey, come here, I want to see your injury," and the child literally walks over. Those are all good signs and the outcome in those cases is a case where there are no sequelae and the child's going to be fine, maybe a little bruise but will ultimately do well. That is in contrast to the child who doesn't respond as well, is irritable, has repetitive vomiting, waxing mental status where they're very drowsy or sleepy. Those are the kinds of instances where medical treatment needs to be offered quickly and subsequently followed up in an emergency department. In those instances, we frequently get a CAT scan of the head or various body parts, and that ultimately impacts long-term care and long-term prognosis for the child. So the parent really has to out all the facts together, be a keen observer, and then if there's any questions, the parent can call 9-1-1 or the parent can call their pediatrician and get advice, because parents have to use good judgment but most parents aren't medically trained to know some of the more sophisticated things that can occur early on in the care of their child.

Our final thoughts: 

Any accident involving your precious kids is stressful, and car accidents are especially scary when so many children are hurt or killed each year due to them. Car accident attorneys deal with cases involving children regularly, so if you’ve been affected then speak to an expert to get advice that’s tailored to you.

ALL PARENTS, Health and Wellness

Watch Video: Caring for kids after car accidents by Alan Nager, MD, MHA, ...


Expert Bio

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Alan Nager, MD, MHA

Pediatrician, Emergency Medicine, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Alan Nager is Head of the Division of Emergency and Transport Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Dr. Nager received his undergraduate degree in Public Heath and Child Psychology, his graduate degree in Healthcare Administration, his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and his training in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.  He has lectured extensively on a variety of emergency medicine topics, appeared numerous times in the media, and published extensively on topics such as dehydration, trauma, mental health, disaster preparedness, etc. He has also authored a children’s book entitled, Angels in Action: One Day in the Emergency Department.

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