Even with the precautions of child safety gates, car seats and plugs for electric outlets, children can still get hurt or die when defective products get through the safety nets. Children are also injured through the negligence of others, both individuals and institutions.
Dangerous products should never be allowed on the market and businesses, organizations and individuals should uphold their responsibilities, but whether through accident or negligence of manufacturers and distributors, some products slip through and people and organizations don’t always do what they should. These situations contribute to unfortunate child injuries and wrongful death.
In some cases, a child injury lawsuit may be required to provide compensation for damages like medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering or even wrongful death. Parents or guardians are allowed to collect compensation on behalf of a minor child under 18 years of age, but may also be entitled to separate compensation as the caregiver and financial provider.
Children or minors can be victims of the same types of personal injury as adults but may be more vulnerable. Injuries that affect a child may include:
- Dangerous products
- Traffic accident
- Motorcycle accidents
- Brain injuries
- Sports injuries
- Workplace injuries
Consumer Product Safety Commission
The law requires rigorous safety standards for the prevention of child injuries. However, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from consumer products, says incidents of child injury are still too high.
Incidents such as property damage, severe child injuries, and the wrongful death of a child cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. From product defects and accidental injuries to lack of training and negligence, all forms of child injuries caused by another are not acceptable.
When a product is found to be defective or dangerous, manufacturers are responsible for issuing recalls. In addition, the CPSC and other agencies may issue recalls due to safety issues.
Unfortunately, in many cases, children suffer serious injury before a recall can be issued, even after a recall has been announced if parents or caregivers are not informed of the safety alert.
Non-parental caregivers assume a level of responsibility for care and safety of children in their possession. Negligence through lack of training or failure of procedures can result in unfortunate injury or even death.
One example of negligence is adult caregivers who left a child in a hot, unattended vehicle. A wrongful death of a child in Florida who was left more than six hours in a sweltering van outside Katie’s Kids Learning Center is one example of the most tragic of all child injuries.
In this case, the day care center employed a driver who had convictions for speeding, failing to yield, and improperly restraining a child, to transport children. The day care center did not check traffic violations as part of the background check. The center also failed to appropriately verify pickup and drop-off logs with a second person as required by law, resulting in the death of a child.
Recalls Based Upon Child Injuries
Each year in the U.S. between 50 and 100 children’s products are recalled by the CPSC due to safety events. About one-fourth to half of items that are recalled due to safety events, are used for nursery aged children.
In some cases, even though the number of different products recalled appears small, this means that millions of units of dangerous toys or children’s items may be in consumer homes or care centers. In addition, many of the recalls are due to design flaws or flagrant violations of safety standards. Unscrupulous manufacturers may have resulted in thousands of injuries due to intentional negligence.
Some past consumer issues which have resulted in child injury have included:
- Toys and jewelry have been made with lead paint
- Magnets have been used in toys that can be swallowed then damage a child’s intestines
- Harmful teething numbing creams have been promoted for toddlers
- Vaporizers have been sold that may cause face and limb burns and scarring
- Inflatable pool slides may have deflated while in use
- Safety locks have failed
Child Injury Lawsuit
Child injuries may be minimized by the proper environment, training and protocols and by using safe, well-designed products as intended. When this does not occur, when systems or products fail, actions may end in child injury with serious consequences.
When a child is killed or seriously injured as a result of product defect, negligence or avoidable accident, no amount of money can make up for the trauma but compensation may be available to help cover medical expenses and provide some sense of justice.