Even though pediatric injury rates have fallen more than 40 percent in the last 24 years, accidental injuries kill more children over age one annually than common childhood illnesses combined. Breakthroughs in technology used in car seats, helmets, smoke alarms and toy safety have contributed to the lowered injury rates, but more can be done to prevent common child injuries.
Common Childhood Injuries
Car accidents and falls injure countless children each year. Some accidents are simply not preventable, but parents and caretakers can help reduce the risk of injury to children in the car and at home by doing the following:
- Use only tested car seats that have not been recalled - the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a list of car-seat recommendations and recalled model numbers on its website for easy access.
- Install child safety seats according to the manufacturer's instructions and the vehicle's owner's manual.
- Make sure children wear properly fitting helmets and pads when bicycling, riding a scooter, skating or skateboarding; this helps prevent head injuries and broken bones.
- Use properly fitting safety gates to keep younger children (especially mobile infants and toddlers) away from stairs and other fall risks.
Other Common Injuries
In addition to car accidents and falls, children can hurt themselves in a number of different ways. For example, children can easily drown in just a few inches of water in a bathtub, sink or bucket, and small amounts of household chemicals or medicines can also cause severe harm to children if ingested, so taking care to avoid exposing children to these dangers is important.
Sometimes accidents happen and children are injured through no fault of anyone or any products involved. However, there are situations in which a child's injury is the direct result of a defective product, faulty device or negligent behavior. If your child was injured in an accident that may have been the fault of another person or business, speak with a skilled personal injury attorney to discuss any legal claims you may have.