Children are innocent and filled with dreams and hope for the future, with limitless possibilities stretching ahead of them. Most of us can remember a time when we were young and felt invulnerable, without a care in the world.
A serious accident can shatter that innocence in a heartbeat and steal a child’s carefree joy and the confidence that comes with believing that the world is a safe place. But because their young bodies are not fully developed and their judgment in the face of potential danger has not yet matured, it is incumbent upon us as adults to protect them and safeguard them from harm. But accidental injuries are the most frequent cause of death among children between the ages one and fifteen. In the United States, a child is treated for an injury in a hospital emergency room every four seconds, and every hour one child dies from an injury,
As parents and caregivers, we do everything we can to keep our children safe; but the world can be dangerous, other people can be unreliable, and a child can be vulnerable. It is heartbreaking to see a child in pain, devastating that an injury limits a child’s once unlimited prospects, and unthinkable that someone’s negligence can end a child’s life, permanently depriving the child of a future and the family of their loved one, shattering hopes and dreams for their child’s future.
In 2009 the most recent year that figures are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9000 children died from injuries. These are preventable deaths, and many were the direct result of someone else’s negligent, careless, or wrongful behavior. Many other children suffer brain and spinal cord damage, fractures, burns, and other painful or life-limiting injuries. At the law offices of Wettermark & Keith in Huntsville, Alabama, we represent many children and their families after injuries caused by another person’s negligence or wrongdoing.
The CDC reports that motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of accidental death in children 14 and under. More than 800 children were killed in traffic accidents in 2011, and almost 180,000 more suffered injuries. Many of these child fatalities were the result of a driver’s negligence.
Drowning is the next most frequent cause of accidental deaths of children after motor vehicle accidents, and can usually be attributed to adults failing to supervise children closely enough in and near water. For every child who dies by drowning, four additional children receive treatment for near-drowning accidents, which often cause brain damage from lack of oxygen.
Cribs, bassinets, strollers, high chairs, playpens, baby baths, toys, and other products designed and marketed expressly for infants and children can be dangerous. In 2012, almost 78,000 small children were seen in emergency rooms for injuries caused by these products, and around 100 children are killed annually year from defective nursery items, often by asphyxiation, strangulation, or drowning. Another eleven children died in toy-related fatalities in 2012, according to the Consumer Product Safety Administration.
Accidents while using bicycles, rollerblades , and skateboards result in more injuries to children than those involving other types of toys. According to the National SAFEKIDS Campaign, bicycle accidents top the list of injury accidents, especially bike accidents with cars. These often result in serious head injuries. American Association of Neurological Surgeons statistics show that in 2009, children 14 and under suffered 40,272 head injuries in bicycle accidents. Traumatic brain injuries can cause learning and behavioral problems, physical and sensory problems, and death.
Spinal cord injuries, fractures, internal injuries, road burn, and lacerations are also common.
Children make up half of all dog bite victims in the US. The dog’s owner will often be held liable for a bite, but dog bite laws in Alabama can be confusing, so it is important to speak with an attorney.
The failure of an adult to properly supervise children in their care is often part of the reason injuries happen to kids. For example, there have been an alarming number of children dying of hyperthermia after being left sleeping in hot day care vans. Some children have suffered abuse at the hands of caregivers.
If your child has been injured or killed as a result of another’s negligence or abuse, call Wettermark & Keith, LLC for a free case review. A recovery can make a great difference in your injured child’s future, and it is important to hold those who are negligent, careless, or abusive accountable for the suffering they’ve caused. We can help, so call today.