It’s far too common for infants and toddlers to sustain serious injuries as a result of incidents involving various types of child products, as reported in a recent study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children under 3 are hurt in some type of incidents involving dangerous products once every eight minutes. Around 66,000 infants are injured every year because of these products. In many tragic cases, the lives of the infant and his or her family are forever changed.
Determining the cause of injuries associated with baby products is very important. In some cases, parents may not use products in the proper way. For example, strollers could tip over if parents overload the stroller. However, even misuse of a baby product is not necessarily a bar to recovery of damages if the misuse was something the product manufacturer or distributor should have anticipated.
In many other circumstances, however, it is not a problem with the way the product is used, but instead involves a hazard with the product itself. In these situations, the path to compensation may be clearer.
Research investigates millions of injuries to children three and under
Researchers analyzing baby product safety conducted an in-depth review of how many injuries were reported and the cited cause. Study authors examined injuries between 1991 and 2011. During this time period, there were 1.4 million incidents in which children three and under sustained injuries related to the use of baby products.
Early on in the study, there was actually a drop in injury rates for young infants. Researchers attributed this to changes made regarding the use of baby walkers, as there were serious safety concerns about baby walkers which were popular in the early 1990's. Baby walkers and other exercisers are associated with around 16 percent of injuries involving baby gear today, so a significant number of kids still get hurt because of problems with walkers. Still, these exerciser products are safer than in the past.
In recent years, there was a surge in the number of product-related child injuries reported. In a span of just four years, there was a 24 percent rise in injuries of infants younger than three associated with defective products. Cribs and bedding products were a frequently cited catalyst, accounting for 19 percent of injuries. Cribs with drop-down sides were banned by federal regulators in 2011 since this type of crib was proving dangerous for children.
Now, it seems infant carriers are the most dangerous baby products. These devices are reportedly associated with 20 percent of injuries to children under 3. Sometimes, problems with carriers occur when parents fail to follow manufacturer instructions and do things like put the carrier on a table or counter or fail to buckle kids into it properly. In other cases, however, defects with the carrier are the cause of the harm.
Know the risks associated with products to protect your children
Products designed for use by small children should be made with safety in mind, yet these injuries keep happening. In order to prevent injuries, parents need to carefully research the products they use and inform themselves about potential safety risks. Following the manufacturer’s instructions to use the product safely is critical – as is choosing products that have received positive safety ratings and reviews in the first place.
However, despite parents’ best efforts, some children do sustain significant injuries as a result of unsafe products. If your child has been hurt, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.