Although spinal cord injuries are a very rare occurrence among children (about 1000 incidences per year), the child personal injuries can be the worst kind of tragedy. For parents or guardians with a child who has spinal cord injuries it is important to know the typical mechanisms of injury and the child’s special treatment needs.
In children under 8-years-old most spinal injuries are located in the neck region – this is because of the unique anatomy of children in this age group. Some warning signs are a disproportionately large heard, underdeveloped neck musculature and a much more flexible spinal column.
The spinal cord injury itself happens in two phases: the first, is the irrevocable force that actually injures the spinal cord; the second, is what happens afterward. The injury itself triggers a cascade of events that can cause further damage within the body. Types of further damage include but are not limited to: severe inflammation, shock, and changes in the immune system.
An X-Ray should be taken as soon as possible in order to determine, or at least to begin to determine, the extent of the injury. If a physician does suspect a spinal injury from the results of an X-ray further tests such as dynamic imaging studies, a CT scan, or an MRI should be performed.
If you would like to read more on this topic see Child Spinal Cord Injuries – Signs and How to reduce their damage.