Keeping Your Children Safe

Keeping Your Children Safe

The saying goes that “Children are our most precious commodity.”

Here at John Bales Attorneys, many of our cases involve us fighting for children’s rights for fair compensation if they are injured. The following article was published in 2011 by the HealthDay news service but it bears repeating.

Kids in Car Seats Often Unbuckle Themselves

If you think a properly installed car seat is guaranteed to protect your child, think again: A new study finds that children often unbuckle the seatbelts on their own, putting themselves at risk in a car accident.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Lilia B. Reyes, a clinical fellow in the department of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine, surveyed 378 parents and found that just over half reported that at least one of their children had managed to unbuckle a seatbelt in a car seat at some point.

Of the children who unbuckled their seatbelts, 75 percent were aged 3 or younger; some were as old as 78 months, or over six years. Some unbuckled their seatbelts as young as 12 months. Boys were more likely to do so than girls (59 percent vs. 42 percent).

More than 40 percent of the children who unbuckled their seatbelts did so while the car was moving, increasing the risk of serious injury by 3.5-fold. The most common response that parents reported was pulling the car over, reprimanding the child and rebuckling the car seat.

“We found that young children might acquire the motor skills to unbuckle from restraints before developing the cognitive ability to understand the necessity of automotive restraints,” Reyes said in a Yale news release. “Perhaps passive safety locks on the seatbelt can be developed, as a potential option for intervention. Keeping precious cargo safe is our duty.”

Car accidents are the leading cause of death in kids aged 4-8.

We at John Bales Attorneys recommend that a passenger in the car pay close attention to the infant in the car seat at all times. Also, when the child is old enough to understand, he or she should be told about the importance of keeping the seat belt buckled.

Infants Being Given Overdoses

If you have a young child, you should always make sure that when he or she receives a prescription, the accurate dosage is given.

Researchers who reviewed more than 50,000 prescribed medications for children up to age 3 have found that about four percent were given an overdose. The study also found that the rate was much higher among the youngest babies.

In a news release from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. William T. Basco, Jr., director of the division of general pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina, said, “Almost one in 10 of the youngest infants, ages 0 to 2 months, received more than twice the dose that they should have received based on their age, gender and a conservative estimate of their weight.”

Dr. Basco, the lead researcher in this study, said, “Since we know that parents have difficulty measuring doses of liquid medication accurately, it is critical to strive for accurate narcotic prescribing by providers and dispensing by pharmacies.”

The researchers analyzed the prescriptions of 19 drugs given to children enrolled in Medicaid from 2000 to 2006. They calculated the proper daily dose of each drug- based on a child’s weight, age and sex-and examined whether they got the proper dose.

The youngest children were most likely to get an overdose, according to Basco. Among children who were younger than two months, about four in 10 received an overdose. The study found that the percentage of overdoses was three percent in kids older than a year.

The study reported that narcotic drugs such as codeine and hydrocodone can be dangerous for infants and children because of their sedative effects.

Swimming Pool Safety

According to the CDC, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4. And according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 390 deaths a year on average are attributed to drowning in a swimming pool or at a spa.

You may consider the following pool safety tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this summer:

  • Stay close, be alert and watch children in and around the pool. Never leave children unattended in a pool or spa, always watch children closely around all bodies of water and keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings.
  • Teach children basic water safety tips, learn and practice water safety skills. This means every family member should know how to swim and learning to perform CPR on children and adults.
  • Have appropriate equipment for your pool or spa. This include fencing, a lockable safety cover, proper drain covers to avoid entrapments, and lifesaving equipment such as life rings and a reaching pole.

If you own a swimming pool in Florida, it is extremely important that you follow all laws and local ordinances regarding safety. If someone were to accidentally drown in your pool and you failed to follow the safety violations, you may be liable in wrongful death action. Similarly, if your loved one was injured or drowned because a pool was not properly secured, the homeowner may be held liable for their injuries.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a swimming pool accident, you should consider contacting a Florida personal injury attorney.

Don’t forget to CALL JOHN BALES ATTORNEYS. Our Florida injury attorneys and client managers have helped thousands of clients get the money and benefits they deserved for their personal injuries.