Articles Posted in Injuries to Children

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A Virginia mom of a 6-year-old girl is advocating for parents to make sure their child is properly buckled in a car seat or booster seat – every time. seat belt

The Today Show reports the girl had not been in a booster seat one day in September when her father, who had simply forgotten the booster seat that day, veered off the road and struck a tree. The girl had been sitting with the shoulder strap behind her upper body, and the lap belt ran across her stomach. When her father crashed, the force of the impact was so severe, the seat belt dug into her abdomen, shredding the muscle and fat underneath. It even cut through the left side of her body, causing several inches of her intestines to spill outside of her belly.

A pediatric surgeon who treated the girl told Today the seat belt in this scenario acts “almost like a knife.”  Continue reading →

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One minute, the sweet, bubbly toddler girl was playing in a garden in an open air mall with her older sister and nanny. Seconds later, she darted into the roadway, presumably to go play in a fountain outside a hotel across the street from the garden. playgarden

Tragically, a 25-year-old driver struck the little girl, resulting in fatal injuries.

Now, her parents, in Washington state, are taking action against the shopping center. They allege the garden, which was designed for play by preschool age children, violated a number of safety guidelines intended to protect small children where such designated play areas are located near streets and when there is no fence or gate to fully close it in. Continue reading →

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A 4-year-old boy was killed and his 2-year-old sister severely injured after a box truck driven by an 18-year-old plowed into the back of their father’s vehicle early one Saturday morning.rearview

The 4-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene in Davenport by emergency workers, while his sister was flown to a nearby hospital and listed in serious condition.

Authorities say the father was moving at a slow roll on U.S. 27 approaching a traffic light when the box truck, traveling at highway speed, braked just seconds before impact. The force of that crash sent the vehicle with the children forward into a pickup truck just ahead of them.

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Safety features as well as advanced equipment, new technologies, and federal regulations can help prevent serious injuries in the event of an accident. While seat belts reduce the number of injuries and fatalities for adults, car seats have proven effective in helping to prevent serious injury and fatalities among young children, toddlers, and infants. The effectiveness of a car seat depends on the quality of safety features which should be tested by manufacturers. In another product recall case, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is pressuring Graco, the manufacturer of children’s safety products, to recall approximately 1.8 million car safety seats that the agency has deemed dangerous.

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According to the New York Times, the agency has ordered a series of tests to determine how long a malfunctioning buckle would delay freeing an infant in the event of an accident or emergency. Our car accident attorneys in Broward County are committed to protecting the rights of car accident victims and raising awareness to prevent future injuries and fatalities. We are abreast of developments in safety and technology news and committed to our focus on consumer rights and victims’ advocacy. Parents who own certain Graco model car seats should be aware of the potential risks of faulty seat buckles.
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Car seats could soon for the very first time be required to protect children from injury and death in side-impact accidents under new regulations proposed by the government.

According to the Los Angeles Times, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently upgraded standards for car seats that are used to protect children who weigh up to 40 pounds. The update included a new test that simulated a side-impact accident. Officials estimate that these new standards could help to prevent about five fatalities and more than 60 injuries each year. If all parents properly used the seats, hundreds of lives could be saved and thousands of injuries prevented.
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“Car seats are an essential tool for keeping young children safe in vehicles, and they have a proven track record of saving lives,” David Friedman, NHTSA Acting Administrator.

Our child injury lawyers in Margate note the new test would reenact a “t-bone” accident, in which the front of a vehicle traveling at 30 miles per hour would hit the side of a small-passenger vehicle traveling at 15 miles per hour. According to recent NHTSA research, these kinds of accidents cover about 90 percent of the side-impact accidents we see each day. According to studies, many child injuries and deaths in side-impact accidents involve a vehicle stopped at an intersection, usually at a stop sign or a red light. When the car begins to move forward, it’s oftentimes hit in the side by a vehicle that’s traveling faster on the cross street.
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Close to 40 percent of the children who were killed in passenger-vehicle accidents in the U.S. in 2011 were not in car seats or were not wearing a seat belt. And that why officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are stepping up and asking parents and guardians to protect their most vulnerable motorists. It’s all wrapped up in Child Passenger Safety Week.
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The purpose of this week-long safety effort is to help raise awareness and knowledge in parents and guardians about the proper use of booster seats, child car seats and seat belts for young passengers.

Our Miramar personal injury attorneys understand that car accidents continue to be the number one killer of children across the country. In 2011, there were about 2 children under the age of 13 who died and another 340 who were injured each and every day while riding in a passenger vehicle.
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Car accidents don’t always refer to collisions. There are many other risks associated with our vehicles. One of the most dangerous is child injury, especially here in the Sunshine State.
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According to CNN, there have been at least 8 child fatalities this year resulting from kids being left in hot vehicles. Most of these children were babies and toddlers under the age of 2.

Our Vero Beach injury lawyers understand that the latest of these fatal accidents happened right here in Florida — a 2-year-old from Escambia was tragically killed. His grandfather accidentally left him in a vehicle. When he was found, four hours later, he was lying on the floorboards of the vehicle and had already passed away. It was 92 degrees outside and the windows of the vehicle were rolled up.

Most of these accidents are just that — accidents! Parents and caregivers simply “forget” the child in the backseat. Unfortunately, it’s oftentimes too late by the time they realize their mistake.

“Child heatstroke in a hot car can happen to any caregiver from any walk of life, even to the most loving and conscientious parents,” said Administrator Strickland with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Since 1998, the Department of Geosciences reports that there have been more than 565 children who have been killed in these kinds of accidents. On average, 38 kids are killed in these accidents each year. The risks and incident rates for these accidents usually rise starting in the month of May.

But there are ways that you can help to reduce these risks. Read the following safety tips and share them with friends, family members and caregivers to make sure this tragic accident doesn’t strike your family.

Quick Safety Tips:

-Always check your backseat before exiting your vehicle. You should set a reminder in the front seat to help you to do this. Place a stuffed animal, a sticky note or another kind of reminder to get your to check the back of your vehicle before locking up and walking away.

-Never keep your keys in reach of children and never allow them to play in or around a vehicle that’s unattended.

-Don’t even leave your child in a vehicle for a “few” minutes — not even while it’s running and/or the windows are down.

-Discuss these tips when the people who may be driving your child. Talk with babysitters, daycare centers and other childcare providers.

-Keep an important item — one that you need — in the backseat so you’re forced to get out and to go into the back seat to get it before leaving your vehicle. This will help you to check the back seat every time.

-Make sure all children leave the vehicle when you reach your destination. Be certain no one is accidentally left behind.

-If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 right away!
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Did you know that three out of every four parents and guardians are installing their child’s car seat incorrectly? According to SaferCar.gov, car accidents continue to be the number one cause of death for children in the U.S. between the ages of 1 and 15.
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This is why it’s now more important that ever than we take the necessary precautions — young passengers can’t fend for themselves.

Our Sunrise car accident lawyers understand that seat belts and car seats are our number one defense against injury and death in the event of a car accident. These devices are virtually useless when we’re not using them properly. That’s why officials with SaferCar are working to help to educate adults around the country on ways to ensure that each child is properly buckled in during each and every car ride.

As a matter of fact, officials recently released a new booklet — A Parent’s Guide to Playing It Safe with Kids and Cars. Its purpose is to make sure that adults are doing it right.

In addition to helping to properly buckle our children, the booklet is helping to make sure that children are safe when they’re around the vehicle.

You’re going to be provided with:

-Guidelines for choosing the right car safety seat for your child. This is going to make sure that your child is protected as best they can in the event of a car accident.

-How to sift through the ease-of-use ratings. You want to make sure that you choose a car seat that meets your needs and works in your life.

-Tips in installing your child’ car seat. If you’re going to do it — you had better do it right.

-The dangers that accompany children when they’re in and around your vehicle. There are more dangers that being a passenger in a vehicle.

To get you started, we’re here with a few key reminders to help to make sure your little one is protect at all times. First, you want to make sure that they’re properly buckled during every car ride — even the ones just down the street. Secondly, you want to make sure they’re in the right seat — based on their age and size. Your best bet is to look at and follow the directions from the seat’s manufacturer. Third, you want to make sure that the car seat is compatible with the seats in your vehicle. Lastly, it’s important to remember that you want to keep all children under the age of 12 in the back seat. Their little bodies can’t handle the impact of an exploding airbag.

By following all of these safety precautions, and by taking a gander at the “A Parent’s Guide to Playing It Safe with Kids and Cars” booklet from SaferCar.gov, you can help to ensure your child’s safe in your car on our roadways.

Remember: Accidents happen. It’s how we prepare for them that makes the difference.
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Officials with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently announced the launch of Child Passenger Safety Week. During this time, safety officials would like to remind parents, guardians and caregivers to make sure that they have the right car seat for their kids and that these seats are properly used. Unfortunately, a good amount of adults across the nation improperly install and use these seats, increasing their kid’s risk for injury, and even death, in the event of a car accident. As a matter of fact, a recent NHTSA study showed that about 20 percent of all parents are doing it all wrong!
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Our Parkland car accident lawyers understand that parents and guardians are the number one line of defense against serious injury and death for these young passengers in the event of a car accident. It’s important that all parents use the proper car seat for their child, according to their size and their weight, and that they use these seats correctly. The NHTSA even provides adults with a number of Child Seat Inspection Stations in the state of Florida. At these locations, adults can talk with a certified technician who will inspect their child car seat. In most cases, these inspections don’t cost a thing!

“We encourage everyone to take advantage of the many resources available to ensure you’ve done everything to properly protect your child,” said USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood.

Parents are urged to take a look at their child’s car seat and at the seat’s instruction manual to make sure that everything is installed correctly. A properly used seat can save your child’s life in the event of an accident. Take a peek at the commonly made mistakes of parents when using car seats (listed below) and make sure that you’re not doing any of these. Share this information with your fellow parent friends!

Common Mistakes Made By Parents:

-Using the wrong harness slot. These straps are to be used to hold your kid’s car seat where it needs to be. They’re unfortunately commonly positioned too high or too low.

-Positioning the harness chest clip over the abs of the child instead of the chest, or they’re not used at all!

-Installing the car seat too loosely. These kinds of restraint systems are oftentimes able to move more than two inches from side to side and from front to back. Officials say anything more than an inch is far too much!

-Leaving the harness too lose. There should be absolutely no slack between the child and the harness.

-Seat belts are often placed wrong over the child.

Another NHTSA study showed that one out of every five adults failed to even look at the kid’s car seat instruction manual. At the same time, about 90 percent of parents were “confident” that they were using these seats correctly.

Car seats actually save hundreds of lives each and every year. Many more can be saved if their car seats are used correctly.
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A fast-traveling pickup truck recently hit and killed a high school-aged bicyclist, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal. After the accident, the teen was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center and was listed in critical condition, according to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). He later died from injuries sustained during the accident.

The accident happened on a road that posted a 55 mph speed limit for motorists. The road also had no shoulder or sidewalk available for bicyclists or pedestrians. It’s merely a four-lane highway that’s divided by a tree-lined grassy median.

Bicycle accidents in West Palm. Parkland and Wellington have once again landed Florida at the top of the list for most dangerous states for bicycles, according to Transportation For America.
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Our bicycle accident lawyers in Royal Palm Beach and Pahokee understand that four metropolitan areas in the state of Florida were ranked as the most dangerous areas for bicyclists. We understand that our bicycle riders face so many dangers in our area because so much of the state has been constructed to accommodate the automobile and fast-moving traffic with little regard to on foot and two-wheeled travelers.

The teen bicycle accident is still being investigated. A FHP spokesman says that he was unable to confirm whether or not the teen’s bicycle was equipped with a light. In the state of Florida, law requires riders to use lights on their bicycle when riding after dark. He was also reported to not be wearing a helmet, which is a law in Florida for all riders under the age of 16.

“It’s sad that these deaths and accidents are happening right now. It’s just
all about being aware of your surroundings, letting drivers know what you’re doing. A lot
of motorists feel like we as cyclists are intruding on their territory, but state law says that
we’re entitled to the road as well,” said Christine Prokosch, president of the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club.

According to 2008 statistics, more than 17 percent of bicyclists who were killed in traffic-related accidents were killed on Florida roadways. Florida only carries about 6 percent of the country’s population, according to USA Today.

Florida has been ranked in the top three for most dangerous states in the country for bicycle and pedestrian fatalities every year since 2001.

Factors contributing to fatal bicycle accidents in Florida:

-Population growth: Florida has nearly seven times as many people now than it did in 1950. The population has increased from less than 3 million to nearly 19 million.

-Tourists: In 2010, more than 80 million people make Florida their vacation spot.

-Weather: Since Florida has beautiful weather year round, more bicyclists and pedestrians can be found traveling outside taking advantage of our climate.

-Driver behavior: Drivers oftentimes disregard the presence of these travelers. Driver awareness may be one of the most effective ways to reduce the number of these accidents.
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