By, Richard P. Hastings, Connecticut Child Injury Attorney
Common Causes of Child Accidents Or Wrongful Death and How You Can Help to Prevent Them
Leading 5 Causes of Childhood Injuries or Death
Children, by their very nature, are vulnerable during their childhood to a variety of situations that can cause injuries or death. Circumstances that often lead to accidents involving children include:
Child maltreatment is a heartbreaking fact in the United States, with 753,357 victims in 2007. Child maltreatment can take many forms. Neglect, the most common, is denial or failure to provide the basics needs of life to a child, including housing, food and medical care. Physical abuse can consist of shaking, hitting, kicking and burning. Sexual abuse is any sexual activity with a child. Psychological abuse may be rejection and threats, amongst others.
Based on data collected by the Administration for Children & Families for the year 2007 (the latest year available), 59% of reported cases of child maltreatment alleged neglect, 13 percent multiple maltreatment, 10 percent physical abuse, 7 percent sexual abuse, 4 percent psychological maltreatment and the remaining 7 percent were listed as “other” and “unknown or missing”.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are a major cause of injuries to children. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reports approximately 168,000 children were injured and almost 1,000 children died in motor vehicle accidents in 2008. In excess of 660 children who died were riding in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver. The efficacy of seatbelts and age and size appropriate restraint devices for children depend greatly on the driver’s inclinations. Up to 40 percent of children in a vehicle with an unbelted driver are not restrained appropriately.
Most substances can be poisonous and or cause physical harm if too much is ingested or inhaled. This holds especially for children due to their lower body weights. A child is poisoned every 30 seconds in the United States, usually by ingestion. Parental or caregiver distraction is the chief precursor to child poisoning. Young children are naturally inquisitive and inventive in reaching objects that capture their curiosity. Substances usually involved in child poisoning are prescription and over-the-counter medications, cleaning supplies, personal care products and poisonous plants.
School and daycare center playgrounds are the sites of approximately three-quarters of playground child injuries. Climbing equipment and swings are primarily responsible for injuries to children playing. Almost one-half of all injuries suffered on playground equipment are serious. These include concussions, dislocations, fractures and internal injuries. Data shows girls suffer 55 percent of injuries and boys 45 percent.
Water-related accidents are the second most frequent cause of child injury or death. Parental or caregiver abstraction or easy access to a pool or natural body of water can lead to tragedy. A drowning child may be incapable of attracting attention by splashing and it takes just a few minutes before the child drowns. Swimming pool drains can also be a danger. Children have been trapped on pool bottoms or disemboweled by drain suction. Water-related accidents can occur in the home. Bathtubs and, less rarely, toilets and, even, buckets can all pose hazards for small children.
If your child or any other child you know has been victimized by maltreatment or harmed in an accident, you should contact our Connecticut child injury lawyer immediately.