Facial trauma, which is also formally referred to as maxillofacial trauma, is any type of physical trauma to one’s face. It can involve soft tissue injuries, like lacerations, burns or fractures, as well as trauma such as eye injuries.
Particularly when it comes to children, we know many of these injuries are preventable. They are often caused by:
- Defective products (particularly infant and toddler items);
- Sports-related injuries;
- Car accidents.
April is National Facial Protection Month, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. The month was designated for the spring because it’s often the time at which children across the country start to become increasingly active in outdoor activities.
Of course here in Florida, children are often out-and-about during winter as well, though it is still an opportune time to remind children, parents, teachers and coaches of the importance of protecting the head, face and neck in all activities.
Such protections may include:
- Bicycle helmets
- Sports helmets
- Mouth guards
- Proper supervision
The AAOMS reports that when it comes to sports-related facial injuries, the majority of cases necessitating emergency room treatment could be prevented with proper sports safety equipment, such as mouth guards and/or helmets. If a school or youth sports organization fails to provide it and the child suffers serious injury as a result, that could be grounds for a negligence lawsuit.
The association reports that 10 percent of all sports-related facial fractures involve the cheekbone. Children between the ages of 7 and 10 are the most vulnerable to sports-related face injuries.
As far as dental health is concerned, the central incisors (the two front teeth) are the most commonly injured in sports accidents. It’s estimated approximately 5 million teeth are injured or knocked out every year, costing $500 million to repair or replace. Although we tend to think of football as the only real sport where mouth guards are necessary, the AAOMS insists the devices are recommended for all sports.
As far as car accidents, it is the No. 1 cause of facial injuries among children under the age of 5, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology.
The academy notes that facial injuries for children are much different than adults because the face isn’t yet fully formed. That means certain types of trauma can result in a delay in growth and it might complicate or impede future growth. In some cases, it could require a doctor with special skills to treat your child. It’s also imperative to seek medical assistance immediately. Research has shown that even when facial injuries don’t require surgery, it’s important to the welfare and health of children to pursue the care of a physician.
Some specific types of facial injuries may include:
- Soft tissue injuries – cuts, lacerations, nerves, glands, ducts
- Bone injuries – facial fractures
- Injuries to the teeth – tooth knocked out or damaged
Each type of injury has the potential to cause lasting damage to a young person.
In addition to seeking prompt medical treatment, it’s also recommended that if you suspect negligence – that is, the injury was caused by someone else’s carelessness or recklessness – you speak as soon as possible to an experienced injury attorney.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
April is National Facial Protection Month, April 15, 2017, AAOMS
More Blog Entries:
Challenging a Remittitur Order in Personal Injury Lawsuits, April 18, 2017, Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer Blog