Most people go out of their way to avoid serious injuries. Whether it's driving more slowly in inclement weather or avoiding unleashed dogs on the street, we all engage in risk management.
Our children, however, often haven't really learned about the dangers of the world yet. As a parent, you do your best to be the force between your child and an unfortunate accident. That means educating your child about potential dangers and sometimes intervening in a situation that could become dangerous. Unfortunately for both you and your child, the world doesn't always give parents a chance to protect.
Whether it was a dog bite attack or a car accident, it only takes a few seconds for your child to become seriously injured. While being young doesn't mean certain injuries are worse or harder to recover from, it can present special considerations when it comes to medical care. Many times, injuries can be more expensive when sustained by young children, for a variety of reasons.
Broken bones can cause long-term issues for children
A broken bone is painful and often results in loss of range of motion and strength. In a young child, however, the growth plate could become damaged. When that happens, if the damage is severe and your child is young, the bone could stop growing prematurely. This can result in uneven growth and lopsided development.
Injuries to the knee, in particular, present risk of both cessation of growth too early on and crooked growth after healing. Special medical attention is needed when children break bones, particularly if the break affects the knee or is placed by the end of the bone. Surgeries, manual therapy and physical therapy can all quickly become expensive, far exceeding the cost of an adult's broken bone.
Plastic surgery on kids can be more complicated
If an injury causes disfiguring scars, you will want your child to have plastic surgery to correct the damage and reduce the social consequences of the injury. Children with prominent scars on their faces, necks or hands could become self-conscious, shy and socially withdrawn.
They may also get subjected to teasing by their peers that can leave them feeling sad and isolated. Thankfully, plastic surgery has made amazing advances in recent decades. What may have once been permanently disfiguring can now get treated with surgery.
Sadly, when children need plastic surgery, it's rarely a one-step process. As the injured child continues to grow and develop, additional surgeries, like skin grafts, can help to ensure proper coverage, function and appearance of the affected area.
These are two examples of how a simple injury to a child can result in medical expenses that last for many months, possibly even years or a lifetime.