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Children at Risk for Severe Injury in Fort Lauderdale Stroller Accidents

A woman and her son are lucky to be alive after being struck by a pickup truck crossing the street, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

In a previous post to our South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers reported that Florida is the most dangerous state for pedestrians.

The accident happened around 10 a.m. at the intersection of Northwest 19th Street and Northwest 29th Avenue. A young mother was pushing her toddler across the street in his stroller when the two were hit by the pickup. Both victims were taken to Broward General Medical Center. According to law enforcement, the victims were not in a crosswalk when they attempted to cross the street. The driver of the pickup was not speeding, stopped after the collision and was not cited.

Strollers are a means of transporting children quickly across pavement or hard-floor surfaces in stores. They are built to fold up easily, which exposes children to hinged parts that can cause injuries. Every year, more than 13,000 children younger than 3 are injured in stroller accidents.

A retrospective study on stroller injuries reviewed more than 65,000 stroller injuries reported between 1994 and 1998 by National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The study found the rate of injury was 184 per 100,000 children. Boys and girls were injured on an almost equal basis and the average age of those injured was 11 months. Most children are injured because they fall out of the stroller (76 percent), while a stroller tipping causes 11 percent of accidents. The remaining injuries were from the stroller collapsing or being hit by a motor vehicle. Head and facial injuries occur 87 percent of the time, followed distantly by bruises, lacerations, fractures and closed head injuries.

How to prevent stroller accidents:

-Statistics clearly show that falling out of strollers is the leading cause of injury in stroller accidents. Parents and caregivers need to securely fasten the stroller’s restraint system. Similar to car seats, the safety harness must be secured properly to keep the child in place. Some accidents happened because the safety harness wasn’t secured at all, or only the lap belt was used. To keep young children from sliding under the lap belt, the crotch strap needs to be secured.

-Young children like to move around, so they need to be watched at all times. Children have died from being strangled by the leg straps when they have slipped under the lap belt. Children have also died by suffocation after being incorrectly positioned in the stroller.

-Children should be removed from the stroller prior to going up and down stairs. Tragic accidents have occurred when strollers have been dropped or rolled down steps.

-Keep one hand on the stroller at all times and always use the brakes. Periodically check the brakes and moving parts to make sure they are in good working order.

-Know your stroller’s “pinching potential” points and make sure children don’t put their hands or fingers near these points. Never hang heavy bags or purses on the stroller handles — it could cause the stroller to tip backward.

The Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorneys at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC, have been successfully and aggressively representing accident victims and their families in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Pierce /Port St. Lucie for years. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-561-7777.

Additional Resources:

Woman pushing baby stroller struck by pickup truck in Fort Lauderdale, by Linda Trischitta and Joe Cavaretta, Sun Sentinel.

More Traffic Brings Increased Risk of Pedestrian Accidents in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, January 25, 2011

Summertime Safety Aimed at Reducing Injuries and Fort Lauderdale Car Accidents, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, June 2, 2011

Florida Ranks 37th Nationwide in Driving Skills, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, June 11, 2011

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