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Adverse Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries in Children Can be Lifelong

Posted by copeland on October 21, 2014

Teenage football player

Statistics show that children account for just five percent of all individuals who sustain spinal cord injuries. But for those young children whose bodies are still developing, the stakes can be high, say pediatricians and spine injury attorneys.

Of the nearly 500,000 people worldwide who suffer spinal cord injuries each year, upward of 25,000 of them are children or youth under age 18. Besides the resulting physical limitations and debilitating pain, these young children often suffer long-term educational, social and economic hardships. Research shows that children with spinal cord injuries are less likely than their peers to start school and that those who do enroll are less likely to advance normally. As adults, they often face continued socio-economic limitations as more than 60 percent remain unemployed according to statistics from the World Health Organization.

No matter the age, people with spinal cord injuries are two to five times more likely to die prematurely than those without such injuries. An estimated 20 percent to 30 percent suffer clinical depression. And, spinal cord injuries boost the risk of serious additional medical conditions including respiratory problems and deep vein thrombosis.

Among the top causes of spinal cord injuries in children are falls, sports injuries, automobile accidents (wither the child is a passenger or pedestrian) and child abuse or other incidences of violence. Young children can be more susceptible than adults or older youth for multiple reasons. Children younger than eight are less coordinated and have slower reaction times. Plus, children of the same age can mature at vastly different rates. The resulting differences in height and weight among same-age peers can significantly boost the risk of injury while playing together or competing in sports.

As kids age, injury potential increases in large part because of the amount of force involved. For instance, two 60- to 75-pound 8-year-old Pee Wee football players colliding during a game produce far less force than a couple of 200-pound teenagers slamming into one another on a high school football field. Combine all of this with the fact that kids of all ages simply lack the ability to assess the degree of risk in various activities and you've got a high potential for spinal cord and other injuries.

Resulting symptoms of spine injuries can include:

  • Persistent muscle weakness
  • Loss of muscle movement or sensation in the chest, arms or legs
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of bowel or bladder infection

If your child has suffered a spine injury caused by someone else's negligent or deliberate action, get medical treatment and contact an experienced spine injury attorney. Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates can help you secure fair compensation for your costs and losses. Call us at 407-999-8995.