We know that when it comes to kids accidents happen, and for the most part the results are only minor injuries that can be treated at home with a bandage, rest and some hugs and kisses. It is every parent’s worst nightmare that their child will be involved in an accident that requires a trip to the emergency department.
According to Parachute (a national charity dedicated to reducing preventable injury in Canada), preventable injury kills more Canadian children than any disease. Preventable injuries account for 16,000 deaths in Canada and one child dies every nine hours.
As personal injury lawyers, we often see tragic injuries or deaths, many of which could have been avoided. The lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie LLP are advocates for every child’s ability to recover from an injury to the fullest extent possible and to follow their dreams. Paediatric personal injury claims can also help ensure that the injured child’s caregivers receive suitable assistance and support.
We will outline some examples of the most common dangers that result in childhood injuries and provide some tips on how these injuries can be avoided.
CHILD CAR SAFETY
When children use the correct car seat and it is properly installed, they are well protected and less likely to be severely injured should a motor vehicle accident occur. It is important to know your child’s height and weight before purchasing a car seat and to read both the car seat manual and vehicle manual carefully before installing a car seat.
The following are some additional recommendations for child car safety:
- Children should only ride in an approved child or booster seat at all times;
- Keep children under 13 years of age away from air bags by seating them in the backseat;
- Do not dress children in bulky snowsuits or jackets which will prevent the car seat straps from sitting securely against the child’s chest;
- Seat belts should be worn at all times;
- Children should not be left alone in a vehicle and you should call 911 if you see a child left unattended in a vehicle;
- Teach your children that a vehicle is not a place to play; and
- Always look in the backseat of your vehicle before you lock your car.
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of death amongst teenagers. Inexperience and immaturity are the leading factors that influence the high death rates related to teen drivers. Alcohol and/or drugs are a factor in 55% of fatal motor vehicle crashes among 16 to 25 year olds.
FALLS ARE A DANGER FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES
Children are curious, energetic and often clumsy. It’s no wonder that falls are the leading cause of injury in children, often occurring in the home and on playgrounds. Although falls cannot always be prevented, parents and caregivers do play a role in preventing childhood injuries and creating safer environments for children.
Creating safer places for children is one of the ways to prevent childhood falls. We recommend never leaving an infant unattended, keeping stairs and hallways clear of clutter, installing safety devices on windows and balcony doors and always being attentive to children when they are eating and playing.
If a child has experienced a fall, we suggest bringing him/her to the emergency department right away if he/she is experiencing any of the following symptoms after a fall:
- Difficulty breathing;
- Possible broken bones, ligament tears or a spinal cord injury;
- New or worsening bleeding or swelling, headache, nausea or vomiting;
- A deep cut to the child’s head or face, particularly if it is close to an eye; and
- Loss of consciousness or memory loss surrounding the accident.
It is not uncommon for children to suffer burn injuries. Although house fires are the main cause of death from burns, children are more likely to be hospitalized for burns after contact with steam or hot liquids, this includes tap water.
Children are at a higher risk for burns as their skin is thinner than adult’s skin. A child’s skin burns four times more quickly and deeply than an adult’s at the same temperature. Therefore, burn injuries should be taken seriously as some may require surgery.
In order to keep your child safe and prevent burn injuries, we recommend the following:
- Teach your child about items that can be hot and that are dangerous;
- Never leave a child unattended near an open flame;
- Never leave lit candles unattended;
- Do not carry your child while also carrying a hot drink or hot food;
- When using the stove or the oven, do not leave the kitchen; and
- Always store gasoline, matches and lighter fluid in places where children cannot access them.
If your child has been seriously injured as a result of someone else’s negligence it is important to contact a qualified personal injury specialist as soon as possible for advice. Our personal injury lawyers will guide you through the litigation process and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Please do not hesitate to contact the experienced and award winning personal injury lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie LLP. Contact our office today online or by calling 403-571-0555 for a free legal consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.