VA Personal Injury Lawyers: Teens Brain Fog Leaves Them Injury Prone

VA personal injury lawyersAs the father of three teenagers, I was almost instinctively drawn to a recent Associated Press article titled "Parents Doing Battle With Teens' Brain Fog." The writer recounts numerous instances of this phenomenon marked by forgetfulness, insensitivity and general resistance to common-sense advice. Examples ran the gamut from lost clothing and cell phones to then-16-year-old Justin Bieber's open fly on the Grammy Red Carpet.

The most telling quote, though, came from Temple University psychology professor Lawrence Steinberg: "It's not that a teen is forgetting. It's more like they're much more drawn to the immediate reward of a situation than adults are and they're much less likely to think ahead and think about the future. The future can be just an hour later."

This means that kids in middle school and high school can't imagine what their mothers might say if they come home without their homework assignments -- again. The youngsters don't realize their fathers won't be pleased if they stay out three hours past curfew. Worst of all, tweens and teens have little innate awareness of the risks or consequences of actions such as drinking and driving, speeding while texting behind the wheel, or participating in sports without wearing the proper protective equipment.

I have neither the space nor expertise to provide all the facts about how children's still developing brains lead them to engage in unsafe behaviors. As a personal injury attorney for more than 25 years, though, I do know that even a moment's inattention or a seemingly small error can result in serious injuries and even death.

Parents, teachers, coaches, clergy members and all other adults have to, for lack of a better way to phrase it, fill in the gaps in kids' brains when it comes to preventing everything from broken bones and concussions to drowning and car crashes. No one can keep anyone else completely safe, but I urge you to check our this detailed guide: Injury Prevention Tips for Children and Teenagers.

In some ways, kids just can't look out for their own best interests. Let's help them do that.

Randall E. Appleton
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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