Car accidents are especially dangerous for children, and for teens, it is one of the top risks they have once they begin being more independent.
According to Healio, the biggest risk for those under the age of 18 in a car accident is spinal injuries. These are the most common injury children suffer, but it appears to be more common in teens.
Older teens are the most likely to have this type of injury. It is also more likely to happen to males, which may correlate with another statistic that shows male teens are less likely than female teens to wear a seatbelt.
Wearing a seatbelt can lower the chances of a more serious spinal injury. Taking this action can also reduce the likelihood of other severe injuries associated with auto accidents. Parents should encourage seat belt use and set consequences for teens who do not wear them or who allow passengers to forego using them. This can help to ensure they always buckle up when behind the wheel or when riding in someone else’s vehicle.
It is also worth mentioning child safety seats play a large role in keeping the number of smaller children who suffer serious injuries, especially spinal injuries, low. These seats provide extra protection. While seat belts do not provide as much cushioning for older children, they do prevent ejection situations and stop a person from bouncing around inside the vehicle or slamming into parts of the vehicle, such as seats or dash panels.
The takeaway here is for parents to enforce seat belt rules and always put younger children in the proper safety seat. It is the best way to protect them from serious injury in an accident.