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Keeping Your Family Safe on the Road

“Car crashes remain a leading cause of death for children. Over the last 10 years, 4 children under 14 and younger died each day. We hope that by helping parents and caregivers use the right car safety seat for each and every ride that we can better protect kids, and prevent tragedies,” -Dr. Hoffman, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

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Every day on my way to or from the office, I see at least one accident.

Our friend Kathy Pickel, a brilliant hypnotherapist, has explained that driving the same route over and over involves brain activity levels similar to the first stages of sleep. So many people are tired, stressed, and distracted – we are at risk before they pick up their cell phones. Many are unaware of the massive forces involved in a motor vehicle accident, even a “fender bender” in your neighborhood. The forces sustained by a 160lb person in a car colliding with an object at 30mph measure 1.6 tons if they are wearing a seatbelt! The same person would experience 12 tons of force without the seatbelt!  

It’s no surprise research suggests a whiplash injury can occur in vehicle collisions with speeds less than 10mph.

Factors which may increase the risk of injury in an accident:

  • Impact occurring on the side of the vehicle (worse on side closest to passenger) or at an angle
  • Passenger’s head is turned to the side upon impact
  • There is a double- or multiple-impact (more than one vehicle involved)
  • The airbag deploys (airbags save thousands of lives but they do inflate at up to 200mph)
  • The accident involves a tractor-trailer (more weight = more damage)
  • Passenger is less than 18 years old (underdeveloped musculature) or passenger is not in an appropriate restraint. All AAP recommendations for restraint should be extended if the child is underweight.
    • Infants and toddlers should remain rear-facing until after 2 years
    • Children should remain in a forward-facing seat with a harness until exceeding the height and weight capacity of the seat, usually over 65lbs
    • Children should remain in a booster until the shoulder and lap portions of the seatbelt both fit properly, which is often not attained until the child is at least 4’9″ tall at age 8-12
    • Children should never sit in the front seat until at least age 13
    • “Using the right car safety seat or booster seat lowers the risk of death or serious injury by more than 70 percent.”-AAP
  • Passenger is pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Passenger has lost a significant amount of weight within the past year (ligaments and muscles are stretched and offer less protection)
  • Passenger has suffered a concussion (the forces needed to cause a concussion are 10 times greater than those involved in a whiplash injury)
  • Passenger has been in at least 1 prior car accident (worse if the accident was before age 18)
  • Passenger has scoliosis
  • Passenger has a pre-existing spinal disc injury
  • Passenger has pre-existing spinal arthritis
  • Passenger has a disorder causing hypermobility such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or Down’s Syndrome
  • Passenger has had spinal surgery
  • Passenger was asleep at the time of impact

Are you starting to re-think the “minor” accidents your family has been in?

Takeaway: There are few “harmless” motor vehicle accidents, even if no one feels injured. It is vital to have your family examined by a healthcare professional within the first 24 hours of an accident to rule out injury. Share this with your teens!

Here’s the great news, chiropractic care can help! Chiropractic adjustments reduce misalignments of the spinal bones, allowing for more optimal function of the central nervous system. When everything is aligned, the nerves can send signals to the brain and the brain can instruct the body how to heal the injury. Simply, chiropractic care reduces the interference preventing your body from doing what it does best, healing itself!

Depending on the severity of your injury, your chiropractor may also recommend physical therapy to strengthen the damaged muscles and ligaments, acupuncture for pain management and/or an orthopedic consult.

At my office, Atlanta Natural Health Clinic, the low force techniques I can use (including the world-famous Activator Protocol and light touch work) are gentle and safe for individuals of any age, particularly after an accident.

Call us today to learn how chiropractic care can help your family recover from an accident!770-455-6767



Disclaimer: Information presented in this article and on this page is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended as medical advice, as a substitute for medical counseling or treatment, or cure for any medical condition, nor should it be treated as such. You should always consult a licensed healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet, vitamins, prescription drugs, or exercise levels. The reader assumes all risks of the use, non-use or misuse of this information. Dr. Chelsea Drda, DC is not responsible for misuse of this information, even if this disclaimer is not read or if content is shared with other users or on other platforms without this disclaimer. Content has been edited and simplified for brevity.

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