Becoming more independent can be fun and exciting for your teen. Stepping out into the world, trying new things and enjoying new experiences without constant parental supervision can be a great feeling. However, sometimes during these times away from you, your teen may have to face a bad situation, such as an accident. One way to help your teen be more prepared is to discuss what should be done if faced with one possible accident scenarios:
1. Car Accident
Once your teen becomes mobile, there is always a chance of being involved in a car accident. If so, he or she should:
- Call 911 – request police assistance and an ambulance (if needed)
- Call you, the parent, if possible
- Stay calm and don’t argue or become angry with the other driver
- Wait until the police officer arrives to discuss the accident
- Do not move an injured party, unless there is an immediate danger (car on fire, etc.)
- Never leave the scene until the officer says it is O. K.
- Exchange information with other driver, (name, address, vehicle and insurance information)
2. Animal Bite
Whether by a neighbor’s pet or a wild animal on a group hike, any time your teen is bitten, the wound should be flushed immediately with soap and water. A physician should examine the bite and review the animal’s vaccination records (if feasible) as soon as possible to see if further treatment is needed The local health department must also be notified of the bite along with the circumstances surrounding the event, a description of the animal, its behavior, and its health.
3. Sports Injury
When becoming overheated while participating in a sport, the best course of action is to find a cool shade, loosen clothes, increase fluids, and call 911. Other sports injuries (such as a neck or back injury) should be treated with extreme care as well. The victim should always remain as still as possible until help arrives, since moving the player can result is further physical damage.
4. Workplace Accidents
As your teen ventures into the workforce, there is always a chance that an accident can occur on the job. If so, the first course of action is to immediately report the incident to a supervisor. “You must report all injuries at work to your employer immediately and request medical treatment, if needed,” advises Trammell and Mills Law Firm, workers compensation lawyer in South Carolina. If you neglect to report the injury within 90 days of the accident you may lose your rights to workers’ compensation benefits.” If medical treatment is necessary, your teen should insist that 911 be called. Management should write an incident report that includes all those involved, including any witnesses to the accident. The teen should request a copy of this report in the event that legal counsel or action is needed at a later date.
5. Home Fire
Should your unsupervised teen be home and a small grease or electrical fire break out, he or she should be well-versed in how to use a fire extinguisher (never water) to put it out. If the fire cannot be quickly contained, the teen should crouch down and crawl to the nearest exit. Once outside, the teen should not re-enter the home for any reason. At this point, 911 should be called.
Although you cannot control what happens to your teen when you are not around, by discussing what to do should an accident occur can go along way in protecting your child and helping him or her feel more confident when they do face one of life’s many dilemmas.