One of the most enjoyable activities children can experience is playing a sport and being a part of a team. While there are innumerable rewards for this, there are also dangers present, too. According to Stanford Children’s Health, more than 175,000 children under age 14 are treated in hospital emergency rooms for sports related injuries every year. Additionally, these findings highlight that the more severe injuries occur during sports or recreational activities. As time passes, knowledge about injuries and the brain become increasingly visible, and this necessitates an awareness of the body and especially to any injuries that occur. With sports related injuries being so common, it’s important as a parent to be prepared for what to do should this occur.
What Should I Do First?
If your child was injured playing a sport, the very first thing you should do is seek the appropriate medical attention and treatment. As soon as you can, bring your child to the doctor or emergency room following the accident. You want to get your child the most relevant medical treatment available, and also to report the injury to the doctor and medical professionals. Even if you think your child might be okay, or they tell you they feel okay, it is still better to take them to be evaluated (rather than wait or not go at all), as not all injuries appear right away and a qualified medical professional is best suited to complete this evaluation. No matter what, whether symptoms appear right away or a few days later, taking them to the doctor can take care of a visible injury, and can also give you a head start on anything that might occur with time. This way, should any future injuries become apparent, you will already have the doctor up date about what is happening.
Try To Remain Calm
After having a child come to you who has just been injured, it’s probably the last thing on any parent’s mind to stay calm — but it’s truly key. Your child is already experiencing possible pain or maybe even shock, so providing a calm presence for them will help to keep them more calm as well. Once the child is in a more calm state, try to ask them about what happened. As long as they are calm enough, this is a good time to ask since it is fresh in their mind, and they will most likely have more accurate details about the incident. As you are talking to your child, consider these questions: What happened? Who was involved (or who was there)? Did anyone else see what happened? Were there any adults around? Did you let anyone know that you were hurt?
Do Your Homework
After you have gathered information from your child, reach out to the coach of the team or a teacher if the injury occurred at school. If it did occur at school, was the child sent to the nurse or was there any follow up? If your child plays sports for a team outside of school, your best bet is to contact the coach to find out if they have information about it, and if you are unable to get a hold of the coach or they didn’t see the incident happen, you can try to reach out to other parents whose contact information you might have.
With any injury or incident, you want to have documentation — evidence — of it, so it can become proof of what occurred. If your child was injured and has come home with visible wounds, take photos of them. Keep an eye out for any injuries in the following days in case something appears and be sure to document that as well. The photos can be relevant for the child’s medical records, as well as any treatment or diagnosis, and of course, it is always helpful to have documentation when dealing with insurance and medical expenses. If medical expenses are incurred due to the injury, you will also want to retain copies of them. If you had to miss work or have any lost wages due to caring for the child and their injury, this is also something to keep documentation of. This will be helpful for evidence required for compensation should you suspect a legal case is needed.
Always try to keep an open dialogue with your child about their injuries (if they are ongoing) so you can better understand how they are being affected and so you can determine what the best support might be. Being able to document your child’s experience, pain and suffering is something that would be significant for their legal case, too.
Choosing An Attorney
After your child has become injured, consult with and choose a competent personal injury attorney who has knowledge surrounding this special area of practice. An attorney with experience in this area of practice is needed due to the complexities that go along with personal injury cases. There is enough stress you must manage as a parent, let alone as one with a child who has been injured, but you don’t have to do it alone. Who is liable, who a case or claim should be filed against, dealing with the insurance company and navigating the rules and regulations that vary state and case by case, are all things an attorney can assist you with. Remember, the first thing to do is make sure your child gets the appropriate medical attention as soon as possible. Document any injuries as well as contacting anyone who might have more information, and consult with an attorney who can help to guide you regarding what’s best for you and your child. If your child has been injured and you suspect legal action may need to occur, consult immediately with one of our experienced attorneys today.