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Could your toddler have a brain injury after a car accident?

Automakers have installed hundreds of safety features on the cars, trucks and SUVs they sell. While these features provide decent protection for adults, they are often grossly inadequate at protecting children. Indeed, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, car accidents are responsible for roughly 25% of all unintentional injury deaths among children.

Even if you always put your child into an appropriate car seat, you can never eliminate his or her risk of suffering a serious injury or dying in a car accident. Because toddlers are likely to be unable to communicate their discomfort verbally, you should watch for signs of traumatic brain injury.

What does TBI look like in toddlers?

If your toddler is not yet talking, you must closely monitor him or her for the symptoms of a TBI after an accident. Among others, these may include one or more of the following:

  • Fatigue, drowsiness or lethargy
  • Mood changes, such as grumpiness or outbursts
  • Inability to pay attention or focus on tasks
  • Loss of appetite
  • Persistent crying

Many parents do not realize their toddlers have potentially serious TBIs until developmental delays appear. Consequently, if your child is not progressing like others of a similar age, it is likely time to schedule an appointment with your pediatrician.

What is your toddler’s prognosis?

Because TBIs fundamentally alter the way the brain works, you must treat a possible one as a medical emergency. By going to the hospital, you increase your child’s chances of recovering completely. Still, his or her prognosis is likely to depend on a variety of factors, including age, the extent of the brain injury and access to treatment.

Ultimately, to help you pay for the expensive care your toddler needs to have a fighting chance, you may have little choice but to pursue financial compensation from the driver who caused the accident that caused your toddler’s TBI.