Our children are some of the most vulnerable to unintentional injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the top causes of injury and death to children include burns, drowning, falls, poisoning, and traffic accidents.
On average, more than 12,000 children under the age of 19 die each year in the United States from an unintentional injury. In addition to these fatalities, more than 9 million are treated in emergency rooms for these accidents. The truth of the matter is that many can be prevented with the help of parents and guardians.
Every parent wants to protect their children from harm and to keep them safe. We don’t want children to suffer any pain, whether it’s from a common cold or broken bone. Our child injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale understand that it takes only a moment to lose your life due to an injury, but it also only takes a moment to practice safety and prevention. Don’t overlook preventable risks.
Burns: From kids washing up under a too-hot faucet to an accidental tipping of a coffee cup, burns are a potential hazard in every home. In fact, burns, especially scalds from hot water and liquids, are some of the most common childhood accidents. You can treat mild 1st degree burns — those that look like sunburns — at home. Second- or 3rd degree burns need immediate medical attention. Cook with care. Use safe cooking practices, such as never leaving food unattended on the stove. Also, supervise or restrict children’s use of stoves, ovens, or microwaves.
Drowning: Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2009, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from an unintentional injury, more than 30 percent died from drowning. You and your children are advised to take part in in formal swimming lessons, which substantially reduce the risk of drowning. This is especially important among children aged 1 to 4 years. You should also surround your pool with a fence that’s at least 4 feet tall. Make sure slatted fences have no gaps wider than 4 inches, so kids can’t squeeze through. Avoid chain-link fences, which can be easy for children to climb. Install self-closing and self-latching gates with latches that are beyond a child’s reach.
Falls: Make your home safer. Use home safety devices, such as guards on windows that are above ground level, stair gates, and guard rails. These devices can help keep a busy, active child from taking a dangerous tumble. You also want to make sure that children are carefully supervised on the playground. Each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries.
Poisonings: Everyday items in your home, such as household cleaners and medicines, can be poisonous to children as well. Active, curious children will often investigate — and sometimes try to eat or drink — anything that they can get into their hands. Don’t rely on packaging to protect your kids — child-resistant packaging does not mean childproof packaging.
Traffic Accidents: One of the best protective measures you can take is using seat belts, child safety seats, and booster seats that are appropriate for your child’s age and weight. One CDC study found that, in one year, more than 618,000 children ages 0-12 rode in vehicles without the use of a child safety seat or booster seat or a seat belt at least some of the time.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact the Hollander Law Form at 888-751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. There is no fee unless we win.