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Infants, Toddlers Suffering High Rates of Product-Related Injuries

A child under three is injured every eight minutes in the U.S. as a result of a product-related accident. Most of these involve products like:

  • Cribs
  • Walkers
  • Strollers
  • Carriers

In many cases, the child suffers a concussion or other type of head injury.

This information was derived from a new extensive study, published in the journal Pediatrics, conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio. This all breaks down to about 66,000 serious child injuries a year that require treatment at a hospital emergency department. What’s especially troubling about the study, which analyzed data over the course of 20 years, is that baby and toddler product injuries were on a downward trend for the first several years, but have since been climbing again. 

Study authors opine the reason the rates were falling for several years had to do with the fact that parents were becoming more aware of/ stopped using certain dangerous products, such as baby walkers and drop side cribs, which were officially banned in 2011.

So why are they going back up?

Part of it, researchers believe, has to do with the fact that parents are becoming increasingly more aware of how important it is to seek medical attention for concussions. Yes, this is particularly true for sports-related injuries, but also of infants. Boca Raton child injury lawyers have noticed a trend wherein bumps or scrapes parents might have shaken off a few years ago are now at least the basis of an exam. This is good not only for the child’s health, but for documentation purposes, in the event such a case may evolve into a product liability claim.

Still, that doesn’t account for the entire 24 percent increase in baby product injuries recorded in the last eight years of the study.

In all, there were 1.4 million injuries to infants and toddlers under three between 1991 and 2011.

One issue is likely the increasing popularity of baby carriers. These devices accounted for almost 20 percent of all accidents. In many cases, injuries occur when parents don’t use the safety straps and buckles properly. However, those who design, manufacturer and distribute these products have a duty to anticipate certain misuses of a product, and to either warn about it or reduce the likelihood of injury. Although defendants in product liability lawsuits will try to assert as a defense that consumers didn’t use the product as intended, plaintiffs can challenges this with an assertion of reasonably foreseeable misuse.

When it comes to baby gear, that means manufacturers must be explicit about assembly and use.

Another common culprit of child injuries was bedding, mattresses and cribs, which accounted for 19 percent of all child injuries. As stated earlier, drop-side cribs were prohibited six years ago because they were associated with high rates of infant injury and even wrongful death. However, federal regulators have yet to prohibit crib bumpers and other soft bedding material, which is known to cause suffocation and other injuries.

Strollers were another source of personal injuries among young children, accounting for 17 percent of all reported incidents in this age group. Wider wheel bases on these devices tend to make them safer, study authors noted, and parents can often reduce the risk by locking the wheels when the stroller is parked, keeping the straps and buckles fastened and storing bags underneath, rather than hanging over the back.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.

Additional Resources:

Baby Gear Injuries Surging, Often Due to Falls, March 13, 2017, By Lisa Rapaport, Reuters Health

More Blog Entries:

Family Files Daycare Lawsuit After Baby Suffers Brain Injury, Feb. 27, 2017, Boca Raton Child Injury Lawyer Blog

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