Burn injuries can be physically, financially, and emotionally devastating for anyone, but children can be at an especially high risk for fatality and long-term complications. Their bodies are smaller, and the recovery can be more traumatizing. Now it is being suggested that children may also experience developmental and educational delays because of their burns. This makes it even more critical for parents to understand their right to pursue compensation.
How Big is the Impact?
According to statistics from Safe Kids, a total of 334 children died from burn injuries in 2013 (the most recent year for which data is available). Another 126, 035 were seen in emergency rooms for burns. Their causes varied, typically by age, and included issues ranging from scalding to direct fires experienced in auto accidents.
Burn Injury Treatment of Children
While burn treatments will vary from one patient to the next, most require the assistance of a multidisciplinary team. There are also some issues that children are more prone to, and some commonalities and trends experienced among most children. This includes:
An increased risk for multi-system injury;
Capillary leaks that may cause a loss of proteins;
Younger age and larger-area burns are considered predictors for intubation;
Fluid losses and metabolic responses are typically more severe; and
Gastrointestinal dysfunction is common and increases the risk of septic shock.
In addition, children with extensive or serious burn injuries often required long, painful, and extensive treatments. Pain management was also extremely difficult for younger children, due to their smaller size and higher sensitivity to pain medications. Further, children may be considered at a higher risk of post-traumatic stress from both their injuries and the treatment itself.
Lower Testing Scores Common Among Victims
Even if children do recover from their injuries with only minor or moderate scarring, they may be at risk for development and academic issues. In fact, a pediatric burn unit surgeon stated that burn injury children often perform lower on standardized testing. Class attendance issues caused by the need for additional treatment, trauma to upper limbs that can compromise writing ability, and pain that cannot be fully and effectively managed may all be contributing factors.
Parental Right to Pursue Compensation
If your child was injured because of negligence, you may have the right to pursue compensation. This can be critical, especially when considering the cost of treatment and potential for long-term issues that may impact your child’s future. However, it is important that you do not face the pursuit on your own. Your child needs your time and energy, so seek quality legal assistance for your claim.
At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we fight to preserve the rights and best interests of burn victims. Compassionate and experienced, our Appleton burn injury lawyers will fight for the most favorable outcome possible for your case. To learn more, call 920-739-7366 and schedule your consultation with us today.