No one wants to see their child suffer from an accidental injury. While some circumstances that lead to a childhood or infant injury are unavoidable, some can be prevented. Many of these preventable accidents occur before a child has even entered preschool. Some of the most common injuries for children under five years old include:
- Choking on inappropriate age-level toys
- Face down drowning in bathtubs, pools
- Serious injuries or fatalities from improper car seat and booster seat installation
- Respiratory distress from choking on insoluble items or food allergies
- Traumatic brain injury from shaken baby syndrome
Choose Appropriate Toys for Infants and Toddlers to Reduce Choking Risk
Unsurprising, choking is the biggest danger for children under the age of five. Because toddlers explore the world around them with all their senses, they often put items in their mouth. Supervise young children around toys and craft materials that can easily get lodged in their throats. Looking away for even a moment can result in tragedy.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requires toy manufacturers to list the suitable age ranges on their products. They also require them to disclose any potential choking hazards the toy may have. Practice due diligence before selecting a toy for your child. Look for the recommended age range and evaluate for yourself whether the toy has pieces that can break off and get lodged in a child’s throat at any time during play.
Prevent Child and Baby Drownings in Pools, Bathtubs and Toilets
Child drownings can occur in any sized body of water, from lakes to toilet bowls. Curious children are drawn to areas with water because these areas usually provide a good experience. Some toddlers love bath time with all their toys and others love playing in the pool. Be sure to install equipment necessary to prevent children from reaching these large bodies of water unattended, such as baby gates, safety locks for the bathroom doors and alarms that sound when a door leading outdoors is opened.
If you live in Arizona and have a child under the age of six, you must install an enclosure around your pool, spa and Jacuzzi (read the specifications here).
Always supervise the child in any bathing device and use your hand to support them, so they do not tip forward into the water. Many young parents today are use devices as simple as a laundry basket to help contain the baby in a smaller bathing environment. They consider these types of bathing devices as a means to reduce drowning risk, but there is still a safety risk involved.
Movement can tip the device, causing toddlers and infants to end up face down in water. Bathing devices cannot prevent babies or toddlers from drowning. Only you can. Be present, prepared and always have a hand on the baby for stability. Consider these seven tips to preventing bathroom-related accidents from your curious toddlers.
We know injuries among children and babies are often accidental, but in some cases, they are due to negligence.
Why Car Seats and Booster Seats are Recommended (and Required!) for Infants and Toddlers
Proper installation of both infant car seats and toddler booster seats can prevent more than 50 percent of deaths of children under the age of five. They reduce the severity of car accident injuries among infants and toddlers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association conducted an independent study targeting children involved in motor vehicle accidents in 2013. The study concluded that children that were properly strapped in during an accident were 71 percent more likely to survive than children that were not buckled into a car seat or booster seat. Additionally, car seats reduced toddler’s risk of car accident fatalities by 54 percent. Children between the ages of four and eight in booster seats were also 45 percent less likely to sustain serious injuries versus being belted alone. In comparison, 38 percent of the children that died in accidents in 2013 were not buckled up.
We urge you to get your car seat inspected every six months to ensure it is properly installed. Great sources of inspections include your local fire station or car seat authority source.
Restricted Airways from Food Allergies, Choking and Other Respiratory Distress
You may know to keep small objects out of your toddler’s hands before get the chance to choke on said objects. However, how can you prevent choking from other problems, such as respiratory distress symptoms like food allergies and Asthma?
It’s important to introduce infants to one food at a time. This makes it easy to identify any food allergies. Each time you present a new type of food, wait a few days before introducing a new food. Serve foods that are easily soluble with water and other liquids with this younger age group. Wait to introduce nuts, soy, shellfish, and other commonly allergenic items until the child is at least three. Watch for hives, flushed skin, trouble breathing, swelling, and vomiting after introducing a new food. If any of these symptoms occur and seem severe, call emergency medical services right away.
If the symptom is mild, such as an outbreak of hives or a mild rash, speak with your pediatrician about treatment and allergy testing. If your child has food allergies, make sure it is known to those who may be caring for your children outside of your supervision to prevent serious allergy attacks.
Actions Resulting in Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken baby syndrome is a serious condition that results in traumatic brain injury among babies. This scenario is most common with infants, but it can be present in children up to age five. This syndrome presents when a young child has been furiously shaken. Symptoms range from respiratory distress, skin discoloration in pale or blue tones, vomiting, seizures, and more.
Shaken baby syndrome is generally the result of the infant being shaken by an adult, usually due to frustration over the baby’s unending crying. Normal interaction with a child, like bouncing the baby on a knee or tossing the baby up in the air, will not cause these injuries. But it’s important to never shake a baby under any circumstances. We realize being a newborn parent is stressful. It is important to control your emotions. Shaken baby syndrome is not reversible.
If another person’s negligence contributed to your child’s injury, the first step to achieving justice is to consult with a personal injury lawyer. Here at SGP Law, we take all injured child cases with extreme care and diligence. There are too many instances of child-related injuries from negligence and lack of education. Help us make a stand and raise awareness. Join the conversation on our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn!