Articles Posted in Child Injury

So far this year, there have been at least 8 children who have died from heatstroke after being left in hot vehicles. According to CNN Money, most of these children were infants and toddlers under the age of 2.”We want to reduce the risk of these preventable deaths and help caregivers avoid accidentally harming a child, as well as address some of the misconceptions about the causes of child heatstroke in cars,” said National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) David Strickland.

Our Highland accident attorneys understand that these kinds of accidents can happen to anyone — even the most loving and conscientious parents. We also understand that we’re seeing temperatures in the 80s during this time of year, which serves up some serious risks. Consider this a reminder to be alert and aware when exiting your vehicle to help ensure that one of these incidents doesn’t happen to you.

Within these eight fatalities recorded around the nation for 2013, seven of them happened in the month of May, which is usually when we see a spike in these numbers.

“It has everything to do with our brains letting us down at the worst possible moment,” said Janette Fennell with KidsAndCars.org.

Since 1998, there have been more than 565 children killed after being left in a vehicle in the U.S. On average, about 38 children are killed in these kinds of accidents each and every year. The risks for these incidents typically start to rise in May, which then we see an average of about four fatalities a month.

More than half of heatstroke deaths occurred when a distracted caregiver forgot a quiet child was in the vehicle.

But there are things that you can do to help to prevent these kinds of accidents:

-Make sure you check your entire vehicle before getting out and locking it up. Set something in the front seat, like a teddy bear or a picture, to help to remind you to do this.

-Consider keeping something important, like a purse or a wallet, in the backseat. This is going to help to force you to go into the back seat before leaving your vehicle.

-Teach your children that cars are not play areas. Never allow a child to play near a vehicle unattended.

-Talk with friends, family members, babysitters and other caregivers about these safety tips.

-Never leave your child alone in a vehicle for any amount of time, not matter how short it is. Never leave them in the vehicle even if you’re only “running in for a minute.” The temperature inside the vehicle can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes.

-If you see a child that is alone in a vehicle, call 9-1-1 immediately. Try to get the child out as quickly as you can. Then undress them and lay them down in a cool area. If you’re outside in the sun, find some shade, but if at all possible, move him into a cool room.
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National School Bus Safety Week will be taking place this year from October 22nd through the 26th, according to the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT). This year’s theme is “I see the Driver. The Driver Sees Me.”According to the School Bus Information Clearinghouse, there is no safer way to get a student to and from school than a school bus. Still, we see far too many school bus accidents throughout the country every year. Currently, there are close to 9 billion trips that schools buses take to and from school each and every day. There are close to 500,000 of these buses that transport 25 million kids each and every day.

Our Highland injury attorneys understand that there were nearly 10 kids who were killed in school bus accidents in the country last year. That may not seem like a lot, but when you figure the number of kids who were injured in these accidents, the risk is significant. One of the most dangerous times during a child’s journey to and from school is getting to and from the bus stop. During this week-long safety campaign, parents, teachers and friends are asked to talk with their kids about the importance of getting to and from the bus stop safely. It’s important that we teach our kids how to be safe when getting on and getting off of the bus as well.

Kids are always urged to wear a helmet when riding a bike and to wear a seat belt when riding in your car, so you might be a little bit surprised to learn that there are no seat belts on school buses. Every time a bus accident makes it into the news, the controversy over these requirements, or lack thereof, is brought back to the forefront. The truth of the matter is that conventional school buses are already designed in a way that purports to meet a different federal safety standard, permitting the lack of lap belts.

It’s works under the theory of compartmentalization. We’re talking about the thickly-padded seats that are placed close together and the high backs that they have on them. What this design does is creates a compartment meant to protect passengers in a collision.

But it’s when these kids are walking to and from the bus stop and when they’re waiting for their bus to arrive that we worry the most. These kids are alarmingly close to passing traffic. Talk with your child about the following safety tips to make sure they get to and from their bus stop safely each and every day.

Bus Stop Safety Tips:

-Never allow kids under the age of 10 to walk to the bus alone.

-Always make sure older kids are walking to the bus in pairs or groups, never alone.

-Make sure kids never walk near traffic. Use a sidewalk when one is available.

-Never approach a bus before making eye contact with the driver.

-Look at the driver before crossing the road.

-Never cross the street behind the bus.

-Wait for the bus at least 5 giant steps away from the road.

-Always hold the handrail when getting on and off the bus.
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During this time of the year, many residents throughout the area pull out their all-terrain vehicles (ATV) to carouse the town, or for some off-road run. The weather pefect, the sun is shining and residents get to enjoy some time away from work and school.

ATV accidents can ruin an otherwise good time and can often be quite serious. In recent weeks, there have been at least three ATV accidents in Bartholomew County and elsewhere nearby. According to NECN, officials are taking these accidents as a warning and are working to raise awareness about the dangers through the summer and fall riding seasons.One of the first accidents happened near Indianapolis when a 14-year-old was riding his ATV on South County Road. When he swerved to miss a dog, his ATV flipped over and landed on top of him. The young rider was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital where he was treated for a broken leg.

Our Highland personal injury attorneys understand that a man from Scipio died last month after an ATV accident in northwest Jennings County. This rider died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. This ATV accident happened as a result of loose gravel and asphalt on the side of the road.

Also in June, two young girls suffered from serious head injuries after they were thrown from an ATV that their father was driving. This ATV accident was a rollover as well. In both of these incidents, none of the riders were wearing a helmet or any other form of safety equipment.

Some ATV accidents can lead to injuries as minor as bruises, burns, scrapes and cuts. But each year there are riders who die or suffer life-altering brain injuries. Regardless, ATV injuries of all kinds can be minimized when the proper safety precautions are taken and safe driving habits are practiced.

Make sure that riders always wear protective equipment. Never allow a young rider to ride an ATV that’s suitable for an adult. Make sure that each rider is riding on an age-appropriate ATV. Children’s ATVs are typically slower and smaller. It’s also a wise idea to stay off of our state’s roadways and stay away from cars and trucks.

Believe it or not, ATVs are not designed to be ridden on the road. Their steering systems and brakes are designed for off-road use. In many Indiana counties it’s even illegal to ride these vehicles on roads.

According to ATVSafety.com, there were more than 315 people who died in ATV accidents across the U.S. in 2010. In addition to these fatalities, there were another 120,000 people injured.

We’re asking all riders to make sure that they’re using these vehicles safely and correctly. These accidents are avoidable with safe and smart riding practices. Be safe and enjoy!
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Parents of young children should take note of recent media reports signaling the threat of possible child injury in Indiana when using the Bumbo seat.The seat, made of soft foam and manufactured in South Africa, has become monstrously popular, selling more than 4 million seats in the U.S. alone.

Many parents seem to love the seats because they allow their young infant to sit up, often for the first time. There are no safety straps or buckles, and manufacturers say this is a good thing, as it’s not meant to restrict the baby’s movement.

But, as our Indiana child injury attorneys know, babies need to be secured. A number of advocacy groups say the fact that that children are not strapped down while in these seats has led to skull fractures and other injuries.

It’s been five years since the seat was initially recalled. In 2007, a number of parents began reporting that their children were being hurt when they were placed in the seat that was then placed on an elevated surface, such as a bathroom counter top or kitchen table.
When the seats were recalled, warning labels were placed on the sides, alerting parents and caregivers to the potential dangers of using the seat up high.

Before the recall, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported it had received reports of 46 accidents. In 14 of those cases, the infants suffered a serious skull fracture. Unfortunately, it does not appear the accidents are being reduced after the recall. In fact, the commission reported that since the recall, it has received reports of 45 more children being hurt after falling out of the seats, with 17 of those suffering head injuries.

Additionally, the commission reports that it has received 50 reports of little babies who fell out of the Bumbo seats when they were on the ground. Of those, two had head injuries and another had a concussion.

One would think this would be enough for the commission to issue a second recall of the product. This is exactly what a number of children’s advocacy groups have been asking for, with a letter-writing campaign to the government agency. They are still waiting to hear back, according to various media outlets.

Even amid concern among parents, caregivers and government regulators, the maker of the Bumbo seat continues to say the product is not a danger. If used correctly, a spokesman said, the seats are safe.

Putting a strap or safety restraint on the seat isn’t an option, the spokesman said, because that would create a false sense of security for parents. The spokesman added that of the 45 new accidents, more than a quarter of them happened in the old seats with no warning labels.

A California pediatrician was quoted by one news agency as saying that even if a parent were standing or sitting right next to the child, an accident in one of these seats could unfold in a split second.
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As we recently reported on our Indiana Injury And Family Lawyer Blog, students across the state are heading back to school this month and motorists need to be cautious these young ones on our roadways. A great number of children walk and bike to school, or use these forms of transportation. Motorists are asked to be extremely cautious on our roadways to avoid an accident that results in child injury in Indiana.

“The most precious thing we have as parents is our children. We want to make sure that when our children go to school…they arrive at school safely,” said Sgt. Steve Whitaker with Indiana State Police.Our Highland personal injury lawyers understand the dangers that pedestrians face on our roadways. These risks are greatly increased when the pedestrian is a young child. Young children don’t fully understand the workings, patterns and dangers of passing traffic. We ask that all motorists be extreme cautious during the school year to help keep our young ones safe.

Here are some safety tips, from the National Safety Council, for your child that is walking to school this school year:

-Remind you child to always use a sidewalk if one is available.

-If there is no sidewalk for your child to walk on, make sure that they know to always walk facing traffic.

-Remind them that they should always cross the street at an intersection or at a street corner.

-Always accompany children that are 10-years-old or younger on their walk to school.

-Make sure that your child knows to look both ways for oncoming cars before stepping into the road to cross the street.

-Make sure that they continue to look left and right as they’re crossing the road.

-Require that your child walks across the road. Never allow them to run. Running makes them more likely to trip and fall in the path of traffic.

Students that ride a bike to school need to be cautious as well. Parents are urged to talk to their young students about the following bicycle safety tips:

-Make sure your child always wears a helmet.

-Check to see if their helmet fits correctly. You should only be able to fit the width of two fingers between their eyebrows and their helmet.

-Make sure that your child is familiar with the bicycle laws in your area.

-Require that they always bike on the right side of road. Multiple bikers should always ride together in a single file-line traveling in the same direction as traffic.

-Bike riders should come to a complete stop before crossing the road.

-Bicyclists should not cross the street until they’ve received an okay from stopped motorists.

-Make sure your child is wearing brightly colored clothing so motorists are more likely to see them.

-Ride with your child if they’ll be traveling before the sun rises or after it sets.

-Make sure your child’s bike has lights and reflectors.

-Practice bike riding with your child so they’re more experienced and knowledgeable when they hit the road alone.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic accidents are the number one cause of death for children between the ages of 3 and 16. This cause of death accounts for approximately 20 percent of fatalities of young ones ages 5- to 9-years-old. Your child is most likely to be involved in an accident with a motor vehicle mid-block and within residential neighborhoods. Talk with your child and make sure they understand the importance of safe travel habits. Again, we wish everyone a safe and happy school year!
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Bikes accounted for 43,000 injuries and nearly 100 deaths in 2007, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. At the onset, you may think that a bike injury is the cause of a swift reactive turn in response to a vehicle or some other obstruction. However, bikers maybe at risk of injury because of their bike helmet that can turn into a weapon or the bike mechanisms may malfunction.

Bike risks relate to both children and adults. Twelve thousand children and twenty six thousand people between the ages of 16 and 54 were injured on bikes in 2007. One of the problems associated with the risk of a bike injury is that people may not be aware of such risks. Bike helmet companies tout the benefits of strong lightweight fiberglass or carbon fiber shells, UV protection, ventilation systems, and antibacterial fabric, but the risk of injury from a hard hit may not be disclosed. Bicycle companies offer heavy duty light weight frames, top end rims and axles, street and dirt worthy tires as well as cranks and rotors for power, speed and high performance. Yet, the risks such as the bicycle’s quick release mechanism inadvertently discharging, should support every biker being more aware of the risks associated with a bicycle.

Laws About Bicycles and Bike Helmets