Car accidents are stressful as it is, but when there are children involved, it can get downright terrifying. While we don’t want to think about the possibility of such a situation, it can happen, and it is best to be prepared. Here are some practical steps to follow after a collision involving children in your vehicle.
Look for Signs of Injuries
Before you do anything, check on yourself. You can’t be any help to a child if you are injured. If you need help, call 911 right away. If you can, check on the children while help arrives. If they are still seated in a car or booster seats, leave them there unless there is an immediate threat to their safety. If they appear injured or are complaining of pain, call 911 and emergency personnel can treat them in their seats.
Move to Safety
Try to move your vehicle, if it is drivable, to a safe spot out of traffic, such as a nearby driveway, parking lot, or side street. Turn the car off and put your hazard lights on so you are visible to other drivers. If you cannot move the vehicle, then stay inside of it until help arrives. Once you feel comfortable doing so, exchange information with the other driver while keeping the kids in your sight.
Monitor your Children
Even if everyone seems fine after a collision, it is important to keep an eye on your children in the coming weeks. You know your children best, and if they seem a bit off to you, it is probably best to see a medical professional. For example, loss of consciousness, blurred or double vision, slurred speech, and trouble breathing can all be signs of a concussion. Excessive bleeding, bruising, or crying are also red flags.
In addition, any changes to your child’s appetite, sleeping patterns, or general cognition could be troublesome signs. It is always best to see a doctor or qualified medical professional if anything doesn’t seem normal to you. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Keep Your Paperwork
Remember to keep documentation of all emergency treatment, including ambulance bills, emergency room paperwork and bills, and any follow-up treatment notes. If you hire a car accident lawyer in the future, they will need these things.
It may be difficult to refrain from panicking in dire situations like this, but staying calm and in control can go a long way. Simply remember these steps above, and if you ever do experience the unthinkable, you will be prepared.
By Brooke Chaplan