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Having a car accident is bad enough, but having one while your child is in the car is even worse. Would you know what to do first after a car accident that involved your little one? Of course, the most important thing you can do is not panic. If you allow panic to take over, you will not be able to sufficiently help yourself or your child.

By knowing the first steps you should take after a car accident that involves your child, you will be prepared in case you find yourself in such a position.

Immediately after the accident

The first thing you should do after a car accident is assess your child’s injuries as well as your own. When you dial 911, you will need to be able to provide the operator with a description of the injuries so that the first responders will be better prepared to help you. If you can, move your vehicle off the road to avoid further collisions. Once you are safe and help is on the way, then do what you can for your child.

Symptoms to watch for

Examine your child for signs of head trauma and pay attention to symptoms that might develop during the hours and days after the accident. If your child loses consciousness, is breathing abnormally, bleeding from the mouth or nose, displaying signs of weakness or has slurred speed then he or she might have a serious head injury. Seek medical attention immediately and follow up with your regular doctor to ensure your child continues to heal properly.

Replace the car seat

In general, car seats may only be able to withstand one car accident. This is true even if your child was not with you at the time of the accident. Since you do not want your child to ride in a car seat that is compromised, be sure to replace it as soon as possible.

If you or your child has suffered an injury due to a car accident with a negligent driver, keep in mind that you have options. You might be able to file a claim for the injuries and other damages, and get the compensation you deserve.