Protect Children From Risk of Falls in Summer

We tend to think of motor vehicle accidents as the greatest danger to children. And there is truth to that. Crashes are a top cause of death among U.S. children, claiming hundreds of lives each year. pinkboots.jpg

But the bigger risk for many children may surprise you: Falls.

Every day in the U.S., approximately 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. This totals 2.8 million children injured every year. Hundreds of children die as a result of falls, which are almost always preventable. On average, 40 percent of these are toddlers and 275,000 sustain traumatic brain injuries.

Our Fort Lauderdale child injury lawyers know the majority of these falls are both predictable and preventable.

–Recently in Orange County, a 3-year-old child broke a scapula (shoulder) bone and was treated at a local hospital after falling from a third-floor window one recent Monday night. Several adults were inside the apartment at the time the fall happened.

–A similar case happened recently in a Boston suburb, where a four-year-old child suffered a serious head injury after falling from a second-story apartment.

–And again in New York City recently, a 2-year-old girl fell from a third-story window in Brooklyn. She sustained serious head and neck injuries.

Falls from windows aren’t the only type of child fall injury, but they’ve been especially common recently, likely because warmer weather prompts people to keep windows open for a breeze.

But other types of falls common among children include those involving shopping cards, infant seats placed on counter tops or other high surfaces, baby walkers, playground equipment, changing tables and more.

At the Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center at the Mayo Clinic, 35 percent of children treated were there for a fall-related injury. One of those surgeons relayed the following tips recently to protect children:

–Make sure children are supervised at all times.
–If an infant is an a bouncy seat, carrier or car seat, make sure they are properly buckled in.
–If your child is in a bouncy seat or car seat, keep him or her in the floor – not on counter tops, laundry appliances or table tops.
–If you are changing your child on an elevated changing surface, keep your hand on the child at all times.
–Make sure there are baby gates at both the top and bottom of the stairs.
–Never allow a child to stand up in a shopping cart.
–Ensure the playground equipment on which your child plays is appropriate for his or her size and maturity level and always supervise their play.
–Keep furniture away from windows, particularly on upper floors. Remember the purpose of screens is to keep insects out – not to protect children from falling. Only open windows children cannot reach.
–Use commercial window guards to protect from falls.

If your child has been injured in a fall while in the care of a daycare provider or other caregiver, after seeking immediate medical attention, contact our offices to learn more about how we may be able to help secure compensation.

Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:
3-year-old falls out of third-floor window at Orange County apartment, June 2, 2015, WFTV Channel 9 Orlando
More Blog Entries:
NHTSA: Florida Now More Dangerous For Cyclists, May 24, 2015, Fort Lauderdale Injury Lawyer