Columbia, Missouri Child Injury Attorneys
Children are among the most vulnerable members of society; once they’re old enough to go to daycare, to school, or to pursue their own interests, parents can’t protect them 24 hours a day. Instead, parents place their faith in other adults and caretakers to supervise their children and protect them from harm. And as children achieve more independence, parents teach them the lessons they need to stay safe.
Unfortunately, some adults are lax about supervision, which puts children in their care at an increased risk of injury. Even adults who are not responsible for a child’s care can cause them harm by engaging in dangerous behaviors, like driving while intoxicated or letting their dogs roam off-leash.
A serious injury during childhood can result in lifelong disability, disfigurement, or psychological trauma. When an injury causes a serious disability, parents often struggle with the associated medical costs, and one parent may have to quit working to take care of their child. But if another person’s actions or inactions were what caused the child’s injury, the family might be entitled to compensation that can help them provide the best future for their child.
If your child suffered a serious injury due to someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. Call Bley & Evans to request a free, no-obligation case consultation: 1-844-443-8385.
Types of Childhood Accidents
As parents know, children may encounter a number of dangers in a given day. When children are small and dependent on adults for most of their care, adults must take that responsibility seriously.
The types of accidents attributed to poor supervision or inattention include:
- Day care accidents – The St. Louis Post-Dispatch found that from 2007 through 2010, 35 infants died while in Missouri childcare settings, mostly due to preventable suffocation. Only four of those deaths occurred in a licensed day care center. The other deaths happened in unlicensed home day cares, six of which had more children in their care than was legally allowed for unlicensed providers.
Sadly, some children are abused in day cares. In May 2017, police in Republic, Mo., arrested a day care owner for violently shaking an infant and injuring him so severely that he spent a week in an intensive care unit.
- Recreation accidents – Swimming pools, playgrounds, and trampolines are appealing destinations for children. But without supervision, these places can be extremely dangerous.
Drowning is, by far, the most serious risk for children who are in or near swimming pools. Head and neck injuries are commonly associated with diving into shallow water or making unexpected contact with a diving board or pool edge. At playgrounds, kids engaging in horseplay while using equipment may fall and suffer broken bones and head injuries. Many physicians say home trampolines are unsafe for children, and no more than one person should be using the trampoline at any time.
Other recreational activities and devices commonly associated with childhood injuries include:
- Riding toys – Wagons, tricycles, and child-sized “cars” accounted for 35 percent of child injuries between 1990 and 2011. Foot-powered scooters accounted for the most injuries, including broken bones, lacerations, and head injuries. Bicycles (which aren’t technically riding toys) also account for a large number of head injuries and broken bones. Adults can help protect children from head injury by making sure they always wear a helmet when riding.
- Sports and cheerleading – Injuries that occur during sports and cheerleading include torn ligaments and tendons, concussions, broken bones, and head injuries. Adults in charge of these activities must monitor young athletes closely for signs of injury, as children may try to continue engaging in an activity, even when they know they’re hurt.
- Climbing – Children have a natural instinct to climb; without supervision, they may underestimate how stable a tree or a structure is, which can lead to a serious fall. Such was the case in June 2017, when an experienced Boy Scout and athlete was climbing a tree in Idaho – and safely maintaining three points of contact at all times. However, when he reached a height of 30 or 40 feet, the branches could not support his weight and snapped. He fell to the ground, breaking his spine.
Vehicle accidents, dog bites, accidental scalding due to hot bath water – these are just some of the many ways in which children can suffer injury. Attentive and responsible adults will always be the first line of defense in protecting children from harm.
Adults must ensure that environments are safe for children, whether that means securing a television to a wall so it won’t tip over or going to the child’s swim class to help monitor the child’s safety. Parents should also make sure their children are never left in the care of adults who have been consuming alcohol.
Help for Families
If your child has been injured and you suspect another person’s negligence caused that injury, Bley & Evans may be able to help you. Contact us online or at 1-844-443-8385 to request your free consultation.