Opinion

Play it safe when it comes to holiday activities

30th July 2019

Play it safe when it comes to holiday activities

It’s that time of the year again when parents, grandparents and all those caring for young children face the usual challenges related to keeping them busy and entertained during the school summer holidays.

“Despite the lure of electronic devices and social media, children still love to be outdoors and often favour activities such as cycling, go-karting, rock climbing and trampolining when given the opportunity,” comments Steven Santy a specialist in Higgs’ Serious Injury team.

“But whilst those activities can be good fun, it is important to recognise the dangers posed by crashing or falling and the potentially life-changing injuries that a child can suffer if their head is not suitably protected with a helmet."

Every year 70,000 children are admitted to hospital with some form of head injury, whether traumatic (for instance due to a fall or a bang on the head) or non-traumatic (such as due to infection or tumour). Falls are the number one cause of head injuries in those under age nine.

Steven continues: “It is generally accepted amongst neuroscientists that the human brain fully develops around 25 years of age. However it is the early years of a child’s life that are considered critical in their development, during which they will learn a vast amount of information and acquire an incredible number of skills, needed to help them function throughout their lives.

“Damage sustained during childhood can therefore have a potentially life-long effect and it is always better to be safe than sorry when your child takes a serious tumble. We have seen many examples of seemingly innocuous head injuries having a significant impact on a child so seeking swift medical attention should be the number one priority if you suspect that a head injury has been sustained.”

“Head injuries can appear much worse – or much more harmless – than they actually are. Brain development in early childhood is extremely important and where an unexpected bump on the head occurs, do not dismiss it without considering the potential damage caused. Whilst we cannot watch our children every moment of the day, we must ensure that they wear suitable head protection when enjoying certain summer activities. This could mean the difference between a quick recovery and serious long-term problems.”

Higgs & Sons’ highly specialised serious injury law team recognise the challenges that clients and their families face in the aftermath of serious injury or illness and work to ensure the right level of support is made available to help with the rehabilitation process. Higgs' specialist lawyers will also provide information and support in order to guide familes through the process of pursuing a personal injury claim.

In the event of a head injury: 

  • If you choose not to take your child to the doctor or hospital, be sure to monitor them closely for the next 24 hours. They may have a concussion which does not sound serious but still results in a temporary loss of normal brain function.
  • Concussion is technically a traumatic brain injury.
  • Signs of concussion include sleepiness, vomiting, irritability, headache and demonstrating behaviour that is out of character.
  • Other general signs of head injury include confused speech, lethargy, blurred or double vision and difficulty with balance or walking.
  • In any situation where a child loses consciousness due to a bang on the head, they should be taken to see a medical professional as quickly as possible.
  • External injuries that damage the scalp can be frightening, particularly if there is blood present, but internal injuries which cause damage to the skull, the blood vessels inside it and the brain are likely to be the most serious.

To discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Steven Santy 

 

 

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