Nothing can be more disheartening than a children’s injury. As parents, we work so hard to keep our children out of harm’s way. When an accident does happen, it is tragic as much as it is stressful to the fabric of a family unit. Sadly, although we put many safeguards in place, sometimes accidents still occur.
It’s imperative that we take a look at our homes through the lens of a child. What could go wrong? What can happen if the worst-case scenario happened? These questions and more should be at the top of every parent’s mind. We encourage San Diego parents to go through their home and make changes to prevent the next tragic household accident.
The advice follows on the heels of a recent accident that occurred when a local San Diego child suffered brain damage after a television fell on top of him.
According to San Diego NBC 7 (3/11/15), the boy was treated at Rady Children’s Hospital for catastrophic injury and, fortunately, the boy survived. He celebrated his 7TH birthday this year with a fundraiser that raised proceeds for the Ronald McDonald House.
The family raised just under $7,000 for the organization.
PREVENTING HOUSEHOLD INJURY
With innovation comes risk. Thousands of new household products introduced each year and many of these pose serious threat when it comes to children’s injury. In addition to TVs and other large appliances and furniture, things like laundry pods and shelves can also pose a great deal of risk, even leading to wrongful death when left in the hands of a child.
Here’s what you can do to stay proactive when it comes to preventing children’s injury.
We recently wrote a blog about laundry pods and their risk to children. Detergent pods are pre-sealed packets of surfactants most commonly used for laundry and dishwashing. They are often colorful and can look like a toy in the eyes of a child. Of course, pods are anything but a toy – they can lead to serious brain injury, respiratory failure and even wrongful death when ingested. Laundry pods should always be stored on high shelves and away from children. Consider using a locked container to store pods – Tide is in the process of creating safer packaging that self-locks upon closure. Consider using a similar storage system.
Blinds are dangerous to children because they can become entangled around their neck, leading to strangulation. Many newer blinds are manufactured with updated standards that come with shorter drawstrings and an anti-lock system. However, in many cases, those new standards aren’t enough to prevent strangulation entirely. Consider using a retro-fitting device that wraps drawstrings up toward the top casing of the blinds. There are many other devices that can increase the safety of blinds around children (check your local children’s store for other options).
Televisions can weigh up to 150 pounds depending on age, make and model. Needless to say, when TVs fall, they can trap or kill a child instantaneously. Tragically, TVs can also cause severe injury such as traumatic brain injury, crushed organs, brain damage, broken limbs or other catastrophic injury. Always secure your TVs with brackets. Unsure of how to install a bracket? Contact any TV appliance store and have a representative come out to your home for an installation. It’s worth every penny.
Bookshelves or other decorative shelves are equally dangerous. They are heavy and they tend to tip over easily when they are bumped or otherwise mishandled. Shelves absolutely must be secured to the wall – especially, for example, if you have a children’s bookshelf in a playroom or loft. Use brackets to secure the shelf to a load-bearing wall.
One of the top causes of children’s injury is car accidents. Unfortunately, not all car accidents are preventable. Be sure your child is safely secured in the appropriate child seat or booster. If you have an older child but s/he has a small or lightweight frame, go for a youth seat. Children up to 100 pounds can be safely secured in some type of car seat or booster. More information on car seat safety and California car seat laws can be found here.
When Children’s Accidents Occur
If your child has been injured in a car accident or household accident, call an attorney who can help. As San Diego’s most trusted law firm, we can help you file a legal claim and seek compensation for your child’s injury. Call us today 24/7 at 1-858-551-2090.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines