Articles Posted in child injury

With summer in full swing, many families and young children will gather around the pool. Usually, this is the stuff of memories. But tragically, absent the proper supervision, it can end in a nightmare.
The fact is, there are an average of 62 unintentional drowning deaths of children under 14 annually. In fact, drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death in Alabama (and the U.S.) after motor vehicle accidents.

Forty percent of these incidents happen in pools and 37 percent happen in open bodies of water. Nearly one-fifth happen in or around the home. Much of the time, adults either believe someone else is supervising the child or are nearby but engaged in distracting behavior, like reading or talking.
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Auto collisions are a top cause of death for children, which is why Alabama’s Child Restraint Law has stringent requirements for use of child safety restraints for those under age 15.
However, it’s been well-documented that child safety seats aren’t properly used. In fact, the Alabama Department of Public Health reports 4 out of 5 children are improperly restrained in their safety seat. The seats either aren’t the right size for the child, the child isn’t properly belted in or the seat is incorrectly installed.This is despite the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued research indicating proper use of child safety seats can reduce the risk of death for infant passengers by more than 70 percent and for toddler passengers by 55 percent.

Now, a new study published in the August issue of American Journal of Preventative Medicine underscores that point, finding that older children and minority children were the most likely to be improperly restrained while riding in a vehicle.
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The plaintiff in Cline et al. v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc. et al. had a son who was severely allergic to nuts. She kept Benadryl and an epinephrine pen with her at all times. She carefully read ingredient labels and always questioned whether cross-contamination may have occurred when obtaining food from restaurants, friends or grocery stores. cookie.jpg

Despite all of this, the Alabama woman says her son died of an allergic reaction he suffered after biting into a grocery store cookie that contained walnuts. This was after she says the store employee assured her there were no nuts in the cookie. After taking the cookie home, she even took two bites herself to confirm there were no nuts in it before giving the rest to her son.

However, according to the lawsuit, the boy took three bites before he ran to tell her his mouth was burning. His aunt administered the Benadryl while his mother gave him an epinephrine shot in the thigh. But the boy’s condition continued to worsen. As he lost consciousness, his family called for emergency help. His throat swelled. Emergency workers tried to revive him as they rushed him to the hospital. He did not survive.
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A young boy in Montgomery was electrocuted when he came in contact with a broken chain link fence that had become electrified due to improperly secured wiring at a commercial building next door to his great-grandmother’s house.
Following his death, his mother filed a lawsuit against not only the owner of the property, but also the city inspector who had deemed the property to be in safe condition several months earlier. Recently, that case, Morrow v. Caldwell, was heard by the Alabama Supreme Court on the issue of state-agent immunity and damage caps.

When the mother filed the lawsuit against the city electrical inspector, she sued him in his official capacity. He responded by claiming state-agent immunity. She then amended her complaint to sue him in his individual capacity for “individual acts of negligence and wantonness that contributed to the death of (her son).” She alleged he hadn’t followed proper protocol, and had either intentionally or in bad faith allowed the property to be cleared for electrical restoration (it had been off for eight months prior, which is why the inspection was required).
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Child car seats could soon be regulated to make sure that they protect your young passengers in the event of a side-impact accident, based on recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (NHTSA) According to the Los Angeles Times, NHTSA officials are proposing a new, tougher set of regulations to make sure that car seats for children weight up to 40 pounds now include accurate “t-bone” testing.
This new test would be a first of its kind, and could potentially save lives and protect about 100 child passengers from serious injury each year, according to government estimates.

Our car accident attorneys in Montgomery note traffic collisions continue to be the leading cause of death for children. With tougher standards, we can help prevent tragedies. Car seats continue to play a vital role in helping to protect these young passengers. Not only is it important that parents and guardians are using the right car seat correctly, but it’s critical that manufacturers are doing whatever possible to ensure that these seats continue to evolve with technology.
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More children are killed in pedestrian accidents on Halloween than during any other night of the year. Children are actually four times more likely to die in a pedestrian accident on Halloween night.

They’re also at some serious risks when it comes to costumes, strangers, dogs and other hazards. Luckily, officials with the Alabama Department of Public Health are here to help guide you through a safe Halloween.

Costume problems also increase your child’s risks of a burn or a fall accident during their Halloween activities.
To avoid some freaky falls, cumbersome costumes or tricky treats, our Montgomery child injury attorneys encourage you to get educated, and get prepared. Each year, the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) sees a spike in calls involving children 14 and younger on Halloween night. The national holiday can be enjoyed without incident by following safety precautions before, during and after the night’s events.

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween. But not when it comes to child safety. After dark, kids aren’t usually swarming the neighborhood. But on Halloween night, all bets are off.

Children must be particularly alert for cars and other traffic.
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Over a third of the children who were killed in passenger vehicle accidents in the U.S. in 2011 weren’t wearing proper seat belts or weren’t placed in the proper child car seats, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). To help to put an end to these types of tragedies, officials with the NHTSA are pushing Child Passenger Safety Week.”
“Parents and caregivers can be the first line of defense by ensuring their children are correctly secured in the right seat for their size and age, and by buckling up themselves,” said Anthony Foxx, USDOT Secretary.

Our Montgomery child injury attorneys understand that motor vehicle accidents continue to be the number one cause of death for children across the country. In 2011, there were 2 children under the age of 13 and close to 350 additional kids were injured each and every day while riding in passenger vehicles. Regardless of what kind of car you have, or how safe you believe it to be, children should always be properly seated in a child car seat, booster seat or seat belt — depending on their age and size. When this equipment is used properly — lives are saved.
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Our students are back in the classroom and they’re ready to tackle the school year. Unfortunately, parents and guardians are skipping out on what could be the most important education of all — walking safely to and from the bus stop/school.
Officials with the National Safety Council (NSC) offer some important safety information, helping to keep safe the millions of students who walk to school each and every day.

“There is nothing as important as getting students to and from school safely,” said Gary Catapano, senior vice president of safety for First Student.

Our Montgomery child injury attorneys understand that there were a more than 32,360 people killed in traffic accidents in 2011. Of these fatalities, children under the age of 15 accounted for close to 1,150 (about 5 percent). During the same year, there were also more than 170,000 of these young individuals injured in traffic accidents. Regarding pedestrian accidents, children under the age of 15 accounted for 20 percent of the pedestrian fatalities recorded throughout the year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2010, nearly one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 9 who were killed in traffic crashes was a pedestrian.
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A fatal gun accident in Tuscaloosa claimed the life of a 13-year-old boy and coincides with the proposal to lift the federal immunity of gun manufacturers, dealers and trade groups in negligence and product liability lawsuits.

Our Montgomery personal injury lawyers understand that some lawmakers say these entities need to take reasonable precautions to avoid inherent design flaws, improper firearm storage and for putting guns in the hands of those likely to do harm. 1152740_in_war.jpg

In this case, a tragedy happened during a group rabbit hunting excursion at a club in north Sumter County. In addition, there could be an issue of premise liability, and whether the facility was equipped for the safe handling and storage of these weapons. And finally, it could be that the individual whose hand was on the trigger was not being as responsible as would be prudent.

We’re still learning more about this case, so it remains to be seen. Hunting accidents in Alabama are tragic. However, most of the emphasis when it comes to gun violence is being placed on mass shootings. Certainly the gun industry is facing heat like it hasn’t in several decades. Alabama has a long and proud history of gun ownership and support for guns. However, gun ownership comes with a responsibility to prevent accidental injuries, especially those involving children.

According to local news reports, the eighth-grader was with a group of fellow teens who had just finished their trip. They were reportedly putting the guns away and believed the weapons were empty when one accidentally went off, killing the young teen.

Authorities are not pursuing a criminal investigation, and are instead treating the incident as an accident.

Of course, the legislative proposal to repeal the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act is in direct response not to this, but rather to the fatal shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, in which 20 elementary students and six adults were killed by a lone gunman who ambushed the school.

The 2005 law was initially passed by the National Rifle Association and other gun enthusiasts, who complained bitterly about the expense of battling these sorts of negligence lawsuits.

But perhaps the bigger issue is neglect with regard to gun owners who don’t properly store their weapons or teach their children gun safety. In fact, accidental child deaths caused by guns are not rare – being among the top 10 leading cause of death for all child age groups outside of newborns and infants. In 2010, there were a reported 114 child deaths and 3,060 nonfatal incidents involving guns.

In order to prevent these types of incidents, proper gun storage and education is key. As a general rule, if you have guns and small children, make it a point to:

Keep your guns locked;

Keep your guns unloaded;

Keep your ammunition locked;

Keep your ammunition in an area separate from your gun.

You also want to make it a point to teach your child the importance of extreme caution around weapons. Try to use specific examples, such as what to do if a friend shows you a gun or if they see a gun in a classmate’s backpack or if they find one while playing outdoors.
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The summer is here and it’s time to pack away those jackets and scarfs and pull out the swim trunks and the pool toys!

It’s also time to be on the lookout for swimming pool dangers and to take the proper safety precautions to help to eliminate the risks of swimming pool accidents in Montgomery and elsewhere. Drownings and other pool-related accidents are in fact 100 percent preventable when the proper safety precautions are taken.
During this time of the year, we see the highest risks for these kinds of accidents. We all need to keep an eye on our children especially. It’s our young ones that face the highest risks for fatal pool accidents during the summer season. As a matter of fact, about 20 percent of drowning-related accidents occur to residents who are under the age of 15-years-old. For every child who suffers a fatal drowning accident, another 5 are sent to the emergency room for related injuries. Luckily, there are some safety steps that we can all take to help to reduce these risks. Our Montgomery child injury attorneys are here to share that information with you and help to keep everyone safe during this year’s summer season.

From 2000 to 2009, there were nearly 4,000 fatal drowning accidents that happened in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This doesn’t even count boating accidents. It’s most important that we keep an eye on our youngest children. Kids between the ages of 1- and 4-years-old have the highest swimming pool-related accident rates. In 2009, of the young ones who died from an unintentional injury, about a third of them died in drowning-related accidents.

What can help to keep our little ones safe near the pool?

-Consider swimming lessons. Kids who are, and have been, enrolled in swimming lessons have a smaller change of drowning. Unfortunately, most young ones don’t have formal swim training.

-Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). When seconds matter, this is going to be your life-saving tool. When CPR is performed by bystanders, the chances of surviving increase dramatically.

Tips to help keep you safe in the water:

-Always supervise young ones near a pool.

-Always use the buddy system. Never allow anyone to swim alone.

-Learn to swim. Make sure everyone in your household has undergone professional swim training.

-Remember that floating toys are not a substitute for safety devices.

-Never swim and drink alcohol. The two don’t mix and can produce deadly results.

-Know about the weather conditions before scheduling your pool party.

-Consider installing a four-sided fence if you have small children in your home.
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