Articles Posted in Child Safety

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It is well-established that schools, daycare centers, camps and other similar institutions owe a duty of care to students and minors in their care. This includes the duty to properly supervise, protect against abuse during compulsory attendance periods, and to immediately report it if such abuse becomes known. girl2

In cases where schools have failed in these duties, victims of sexual assault have grounds to pursue a civil tort – or injury lawsuit – against the school for compensation.

For many victims, it is not about the money, though many do require extensive therapy and treatment to regain emotional stability. It’s often more about holding the school or center accountable, and ensuring such failed oversight doesn’t harm other children.

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Memories of summer in childhood should be recalled with fondness – splashing by the pool, road trip vacations and long, lazy afternoons.
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However, parents and caregivers must take note: Summer is also a time when hazards abound. Our Fort Myers child injury lawyers have seen cases here in Southwest Florida in which children have suffered from heatstroke. Tragedy on the roadways has occurred when children weren’t properly belted into a car seat or they encountered fatigued or drunken drivers. While on bicycles, children have serious suffered injuries after being struck by a vehicle. Children left unsupervised by the pool have drowned, and others injured by fireworks or defective products.

While it’s true that injuries to children can occur at any point in the year, summer carries its own unique challenges, and it’s important for parents to become educated. That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a campaign to encourage awareness of potential injuries children may suffer in summer.
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When you entrust your child to someone’s care, you are trusting that they will care for the child as their own – or at the very least, as basic standards require.
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Unfortunately, our Lehigh Acres child injury lawyers know that child-care facilities and home day care centers are prone to lapses. There have been numerous instances wherein these lapses have resulted in serious injuries, or tragic death.

For example, a recent case out of Bradenton involved a 4-month-old infant who died while in daycare. Upon further investigation by the Florida Department of Children and Families, it was revealed a day care worker had tested positive for cocaine and marijuana. Additionally, surveillance footage unveiled several licensing violations. And while the daycare workers said the infant was fed and placed in a crib to sleep on her side, surveillance footage showed that in fact, the child was put in a bouncy swing with a prop for the infant to feed herself. The child was then put in the crib, on her stomach, without being burped. The child was seen in the video kicking her legs and trying to lift her head. Within two hours, she was unresponsive and declared dead. An investigation is ongoing.
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Authorities with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a crash that occurred between two pickup trucks, resulting in four people sustaining serious injuries, including a 15-month-old infant they say was not properly restrained in the vehicle.

Experienced
Car accident attorneys
know, while it may not always be convenient to ensure a child is properly belted in, it’s critical to ensuring they are safe – each and every trip. A driver who fails to properly restrain a child in Florida faces a $60 fine and 3 points added to his license, though the possible consequences in a crash could be far worse. portraits.jpg

The News-Press reports the crash happened on State Route 82, between Alabama Road and Sunshine Boulevard, sometime after 7 a.m. on a Saturday. A 34-year-old from Immokalee was driving a pickup westbound on State Route 82, with a 21-year-old adult female passenger and a 15-month-old baby girl in the backseat unrestrained. An 18-year-old from Fort Myers was also driving his pickup in the opposite direction when authorities say he suddenly veered into the oncoming lane of traffic, and the two trucks collided head-on.
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Close to 9,500 children visit an emergency room because of pinches, falls, cuts and other high chair-related injuries each and every year, according to a report in the Daily News.
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In a recent study, researchers found that parents aren’t using their high chairs’ safety restraints (properly — or at all) and that there are many high chairs that aren’t meeting the current federal safety standards.

Our product liability attorneys understand the risks for high chair-related accidents are on the rise. The number of injuries has actually spiked more than 20 percent from 2003 to 2010. The findings of this new study are raising some pretty serious questions regarding high chair safety. Of these injuries, close to 90 percent are to the face and head. Less than 3 percent of these injuries were considered “mild”. The rest required hospitalization.
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If you’ve just had a baby, you’re expecting, or you’re taking care of a young child, it’s important that you provide them with a safe sleeping environment. Babies spend much of their time sleeping, and their nursery should be the safest room in the house.
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Officials with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are working to create a safer generation of cribs through a number of new federal requirements.

Our Fort Myers child injury attorneys understand that 10,000 infant ER visits a year are because of crib malfunctions or mishaps. What’s more, 100 infants and toddlers each year die as a result of unsafe sleeping environments, according to NBC NEWS. Now, officials are requiring cribs with traditional drop-sides to not be made or sold. They are also not allowing any kind of repair kits or immobilizers. The wood slats on current cribs are required to be manufactured at strength to prevent the wood from breaking. Also, cribs hardware is required to come equipped with anti-loosening devices to keep parts from coming loose or completely falling off.

The mattress supports must also be more durable and officials are required to put these cribs through more rigorous safety tests.
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Children are some of the most vulnerable in traffic accidents. Their bodies can’t take the force of an accident as effectively as an adult, and so they’re injured and killed more often than adults in these events. This is why safety advocates across the nation are stepping up and asking both parents and guardians to do their jobs to make sure that young children are properly buckled in during each and every car ride. It’s all a part of Child Passenger Safety Week, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
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According to the latest traffic data, over a third of children under the age of 13 who were killed in passenger-vehicle accidents in 2011 were not properly belted in when the accident happened. The truth is that children need extra occupant protection, specially designed for their size and age to provide the best safety in a vehicle.

Our Cape Coral car accident lawyers know motor vehicle accidents continue to be the top cause of child deaths in the U.S. In 2011, there were 2 children under the age of 13 killed and another 350 injured each and every day while riding in passenger vehicles. But regardless of what kind of vehicle you’re in or how old your child is, it’s critical that they’re buckled in. Kids turn to us for safety, and it’s about time we ensure it.
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A middle school student was struck by a passing vehicle while waiting for the bus one recent morning in Fort Myers. According to The News-Press, the 12-year-old was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital following the accident. Reports indicate that he was waiting for his bus to arrive at Fifth Street and Davis Boulevard just before 7:00 a.m. when a vehicle made an improper turn at the intersection, left the roadway and struck the sitting child. The driver was cited for careless driving.
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Our Fort Myers child injury lawyers have already addressed children getting to and from their bus stop/school safely on our Florida Injury Lawyer Blog. But typically, it’s motorists who can do the most to reduce the risks.

According to the Florida DMV, fines are doubled for speeding in a construction or school zone. If you’re busted speeding more than 30 mph over the speed limit in a school or construction zone, the fine is $555.50.

In most of the school zones around the state, the speed limit is 20 miles per hour. In these areas, there are special speed limit signs posted to remind drivers. These zones typically utilize blinking caution lights to tell you when the reduced speed limit is in effect.

Motorists also need to be aware of safety laws when traveling around a school bus, too.
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School is gearing up, and our kids are strapping on their backpacks and heading back to class.

But first they’ve got to get to school safely, so over the next 30 days the emphasis will be on child pedestrian safety.

According to Parents Central, most of the fatal accidents including young pedestrians happen between noon and 8:00 p.m. at non-intersection locations.
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Our Fort Myers child injury lawyers understand that there are more than 60 children who seek medical attention for injuries sustained while walking each and every day. Each year, there are more than 500 children who are killed in pedestrian accidents. Teens between the ages of 14 and 19 are most at risk. As a matter of fact, they account for about half of all pedestrian injuries sustained in the last five years.

Before your child heads back to that first day of school, it’s a good idea to review their route. Make sure you’ve planned the safest route possible. You want an area preferably with sidewalks, low traffic volume, low speed limits, good lighting, other people likely out walking and crosswalks and cross signals. Grab your child’s friends from the neighborhood and have a group practice. It’s always better to walk in a group as opposed to walking alone.

It’s also a good idea to review safe pedestrian tips with your child before sending them off for the new school year. Read, review and share the following safety tips with your child this autumn:

-Whenever it’s possible, cross the road at a street corner. You always want to abide by the traffic signals at these intersections. Most accidents and injuries occur mid-block or in another area other than an intersection.

-Before stepping onto the road to cross, you always want to look left and right. It’s important to keep looking and listening while crossing, too.

-While walking across the road, you want to do just that — walk don’t run.

-If there are no sidewalks available on your route, your best bet is to walk in the direction facing oncoming traffic. You’ll want to stay as far to the left as possible.

-Never walk while wearing headphones. You always want to be alert and aware of your surroundings.

-If you’ve got to use your phone, your best bet is to stop before doing so.

-Remember that drivers may be on their phones or engaged in other distracting activity. Before crossing the road, always make eye contact with them to ensure that they see you.

-Remind children that there is no horseplay on their way to the bus stop or to school. Horseplay is how accidents happen.

Make sure your children understand the risks that are associated with walking to school or to the bus stop. Cover these topics frequently throughout the school year to keep the idea fresh in their mind. An aware child is a safer one.
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Summer means baseball season for many players and their families. Whether you are a coach, parent or athlete, it is important to remain aware of the dangers of baseball and injury. Head injuries can be catastrophic and are commonly associated with sports, including baseball. When on the sidelines or on the field, you can also be preventative and take necessary steps to prevent serious injuries.

Avoiding hits to the face and head can prevent concussion and serious brain injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are a number of safety measures involving training and equipment that can prevent serious injury. Our Fort Meyers children’s injury attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of serious head injury, including traumatic brain injury.

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Having proper equipment is critical to preventing head injury. All players should use protective equipment, even in the dugout. Helmets are critical to preventing head injury. An athlete should be measured and sized to be certain that the helmet fits properly. Head size can be measured by wrapping soft tape measure around the head, just above the eyebrows and ears. String can also be used and measured against a ruler, if no soft tape is available.

Coaches and parents should make sure that the athlete can see properly and that the helmet is not to big to cover the eyes. A player should feel comfortable in their helmet: ask him or her how it feels. Remember that batters and catchers have different helmets. The catcher’s helmet often comes in one- piece or in a two-piece style with a separate mask. Both styles should fit snugly and there should be no spaces between pads and the player’s head. Baseball caps should not be worn during games because they can change the fit of the helmet.

Whether on the sidelines or on the field, athletes should always keep their eyes on the ball. Young players may be vulnerable to distraction. Keep your youngsters engaged and prepared to catch or defend against flying balls on the field or on the sideline.

If you suspect that a player has suffered a brain injury or concussion, you should never take the incident lightly. Sometimes the severity of an injury is not known for hours or even days after the blow. Internal bleeding can cause serious brain damage, and in some cases, result in death. After a player has been struck by a ball, he or she should be removed from the play and examined by a licensed healthcare provider. No one on the sidelines should be a final judge of the seriousness of the injury. Parents of the player should also be informed about the possibility of a concussion.

Numerous blows to the head can cause long-term brain damage. Many health care professionals recommend sitting out several games, or even the season after a concussion. After a head injury, no player should return to the game. An athlete should return only after examined by a qualified medical provider.

Remember that head injuries can cause lasting and permanent brain injury. The best way to prevent a serious injury, is to be prepared before sports season begins.
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