There is perhaps nothing sweeter and more genuine than the utter delight of a child with a new toy.
At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, we are a family of parents. We take particular care when working with children, whether in our offices, in the courtroom, or in working with the March of Dimes and holiday toy drives. But we also continue to monitor with concern the growing and evolving risks of product injuries involving children.
Nearly 200,000 children visited hospital emergency rooms last year because of toy-related injuries. Boys accounted for just over half of the injured. Three-quarters of those injured were children under the age of 14. Nearly half occurred to toddlers under the age of 4, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
Most of us start with the best of intentions each holiday shopping season. We set a budget. We make a plan. We resolve to slow down and enjoy ourselves.
There is every evidence the holiday season is in full season as early as ever in Southwest Florida this year, to the joy of most as we continue the fight to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic that has cast a shadow over the world for nearly two years. More events are planned. More family gatherings are happening. Legions of people have made positive changes to their work-life balance that are likely to endure well after we put the pandemic behind us.
At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, we wish each of you a peaceful and joyful holiday season full of family, friends, good times and lasting memories. Understanding the risks, talking with friends and loved one, visiting elderly relatives, teaching your children, and resolving to stay safe will all help ensure a great end to 2021 and a hopeful start to 2022.
Here is our best advice when it comes to staying safe.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is warning temporary workers and employers about the need to keep seasonal-worker safety a priority this holiday season.
While COVID has made this a holiday shopping season like no other, the end-of-year shopping period is typically the most dangerous time of the year for retail workers. Seasonal and temporary workers can be at especially high risk.
The coronavirus pandemic is having an outsized impact in every area of our lives. While it won’t be until after the holidays that we have clear data on how it impacted seasonal employment, Southwest Florida is also entering what is typically the busy tourist season, when many employers begin hiring in anticipation of winter guests.
Recent years have seen an undeniable switch to online shopping that has been drastically accelerated by the pandemic. Consequently, OSHA’s focus is on warehouse and delivery workers, as well as retail safety measures aimed at reducing the risks posed by COVID-19.
Combine that with an early start to frigid northern temperatures that descended upon the midwest before Thanksgiving dinner was on the table, and the forecast in Southwest Florida calls for packed roads and burgeoning malls and shopping centers from now until Christmas Eve Day.
Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral wish each of you a safe and blessed holiday season. Staying safe is a proactive activity that approaches the level of a competitive sport as shoppers and arriving winter residents and tourists compete for space.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured.
AAA reports gas prices are dropping sharply just in time for the busiest travel season of the year.
“Those heading out for a road trip, should find the lowest gas prices for the holiday in two years,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.
In all, some 60 million travelers have plans for this weekend, in what authorities expect to be the busiest holiday travel weekend in a dozen years.
A smart, prepared, traveler will always be a safer traveler.
A recent analysis by SCRAM Systems (the company that sells DOT-approved alcohol and location monitoring devices) notes that while during most of the year, 28 percent of highway deaths are related to alcohol, that figure spikes to 40 percent during the holidays. Over Thanksgiving, it’s 35 percent, Christmas, 41 percent, and on New Year’s Eve/ Day, it’s 58 percent.
What’s more, 16 percent of adults surveyed say they drink more than usual over the holidays. Half said alcohol plays some role in their family’s holiday gatherings and an astonishing 96 percent say they either went to work hung over after a party or know someone who did. Bear in mind: Being hungover can sometimes still be considered impaired driving, even if your blood-alcohol concentration falls below the per se limit of 0.08, as outlined in F.S. 316.193. The statute allows for a criminal conviction any time a person is “under the influence of alcoholic beverages… to the extent the person’s normal faculties are impaired.” Continue reading ›
As the holidays approach, the demand for new toys will be high, both in stores and online. Buyers must be cautious when purchasing items to make sure they are following the manufacturer’s age recommendations and that they stay tuned to any reports of injuries or news of a potential toy recall.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued its annual Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries report for 2016, revealing that last year, there were a total of 240,000 emergency department trips spurred by dangerous or defective toys. That doesn’t represent a significant statistical trend
While not every toy-related injury is cause for a personal injury lawsuit, if plaintiff can show the product was unreasonably dangerous or defectively designed or defectively manufactured, there may be grounds for legal action. Serious injuries can occur when toys are made cheaply, with toxic materials or sold with inadequate warnings. Defendants in these cases can include anyone in the chain of distribution – from the product designer to its manufacturer to its distributor. Continue reading ›
In recent years, both federal authorities and even toymakers themselves have initiated higher standards, meaning the majority of toys on the market are safer than they’ve been in the past. Still, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports toy-related injuries resulted in 200,000 hospitalizations last year.
The journal Clinical Pediatrics indicates the toy-related injury rate has spiked 40 percent between 1990 and 2011. According to their research, 3 million children were injured by toys during that time, which means there was a child getting hurt every 3 seconds. More than 50 percent of those were children under the age of 6.
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It should be noted, however, that there is a heightened risk of injuries throughout the year-end holiday period. These include slip-and-fall injuries, trip-and-fall accidents, falling merchandise from shelves or even a third-party attack by someone targeting shoppers exiting stores with expensive items.
In each case, owners and operators of these facilities owe their patrons the highest duty of care in ensuring their safety. Although not every injury that occurs at a store is compensable, many times these instances occur as a result of careless or negligent operators and property managers. You should not have to shoulder the burden of medical bills and lost wages because a store failed to maintain safe premises.
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