The last thing any Connecticut parent would want is for their child to be severely hurt. But every year, around 2,000 children and adolescents suffer a spinal cord injury. To help avoid becoming one of the statistics, parents can follow these steps to help keep their children out of harm’s way.

In the home, stairs should be well-lit and free from obstructions. Tattered or torn carpets should also be replaced in order to avoid slips.

Spinal cord injuries can be sustained during recreational activities, so parents should advise their children not to dive into swimming pools that don’t indicate the depth of the water. Sports-related spinal cord injuries are also becoming more common, so if a child engages in contact sports, it’s important to wear the appropriate protective gear.

Severe injuries can also be sustained in an auto accident. Parents should always make sure that their child is properly restrained and in a weight and height-appropriate booster seat.

But parents are only part of the story. Schools, recreational facilities, sports organizations and even motorists also need to make a conscious effort to provide safe environments. If they fail to do so, and a child suffers a spinal cord injury, they can be held liable for negligence.

A child who suffers a spinal cord injury typically needs long-term medical care because of the disruption to bodily functions and potential paralysis. For a child, this can be devastating. Parents can also be overwhelmed by the medical expenses. To help with their situation, a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party may be necessary. This legal action may lead to compensation that will help the family during their difficult times.

Source: Imperial Valley News, “Saving Children’s Spines,” Dec. 20, 2013