Every parent wants to keep their children from getting injured. They spend countless hours worrying about the various bad things that could potentially happen to their kids, and gobs of money on all kinds of safety equipment.
The bad news is that you can’t stop every bad thing from happening. The good news, though, is that the likelihood of many childhood injuries can be reduced significantly.
You just have to pick your battles and focus on the things that you can (largely) control. To that end, here’s a list of the most common childhood injuries that Florida parents can watch for and work to prevent.
Know the Most Common Childhood Injuries So You Can Understand How to Minimize Them
Injuries are the top reason for childhood fatalities each year, and they account for the majority of childhood emergency room visits. The Center for Disease Control reports that every year over 12,000 children between the ages of 0 to 19 die from unintentional injuries and more than 9 million are treated for injuries.
The top causes of childhood injuries are listed below in detail.
More children die in car crashes than for any other reason. This includes death as a passenger in a motor vehicle as well as pedestrian and cyclist deaths. The risk is highest for children ages 5 to 19.
It’s crucial to know the proper way to use a child safety seat and follow the weight limits. Seat belts save the lives of children of all ages, particularly once they have outgrown a booster seat. You can’t keep another vehicle from hitting you, but you can be a safe driver yourself and make sure your children are properly secured every time you get in your vehicle.
Florida is a swimmer’s paradise, but it can also be a dangerous place for children since the threat of drowning is often present. You can’t afford to take your eye off your child – even for a second. Drowning is the number one cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4, so your vigilance is essential.
Remember that a small child can drown in only an inch of standing water, so be sure to remove all potential water hazards.
The sooner you can enroll your child in swimming lessons, the better. Always make sure your child wears a life vest when boating or water-skiing. Be intentional about teaching your child good safety habits on the water while you’re having fun together.
As children climb on playground equipment, ride bikes, and explore the outdoors, they constantly face the danger of falling. Falls are the top cause of nonfatal injuries among children younger than 15 years old.
It’s important to look for playgrounds with bouncy or forgiving surfaces. Make sure your child always wears a bike helmet. Keep an eye on your toddler – children ages 1 to 4 have the highest fall rate. Keep windows closed and latched and don’t let your child out of your sight, especially if they love to climb.
Babies are at highest risk for suffocation deaths. Over two-thirds of injury deaths for children under the age of one year are due to suffocation. To prevent suffocation in the crib, make sure you place your baby on their back and remove any bedding or stuffed animals. Co-sleeping with an adult is not a good idea either. Remember to keep plastic bags out of baby’s reach all the time.
Fire and Burns
It’s easy to forget, but changing the batteries on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors could literally save lives. Check them once per month, and review a multi-route family escape plan with your children regularly.
Children are raiding the family medicine cabinet nearly half a million times per year according to one report. Older kids are not immune to the risks either. Carefully monitor your children’s intake of medicine, and lock up anything that could threaten their health.
Many children play sports, and their injuries are widely varied. They may involve muscle strains and tears, overexertion, or dehydration. Other more serious sports injuries may include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, or concussions.
Make sure your child is taking regular breaks during practices and games and that they are using the right safety equipment. If your child is experiencing sharp pain, swelling, numbness, headaches, or lack of ability to concentrate, take them to the emergency room to rule out any serious injury.
Choking is a danger especially to young children. It’s important to supervise your child during meals and to cut up food into small pieces. Make sure small toys and items are out of a young child’s reach, since they like to put everything inside their mouths.
When You Seek Compensation for Your Child’s Injuries, You Not Only Help Your Kids, but Make the World Safer for Others
If your child is injured and you think someone else may be at fault, seek a skilled Florida injury lawyer to understand your options. You can contact our office today for a free initial consultation where you can tell us about your specific circumstances.
Holding the responsible parties accountable is important. Not only can it help with your child’s recovery and prevent you from emptying out your savings accounts, but also cause policies and behaviors to be changed for the better.
About the Author:
A partner at Lawlor, White & Murphey and a distinguished personal injury lawyer, Ben Murphey tries complex disputes that include civil appeals, maritime and admiralty claims, wrongful death, and labor disputes. Mr. Murphey has been recognized for his excellence in the area of personal injury litigation by being rewarded with a 10/10 Avvo Rating and named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for the last four consecutive years (2011-2014). Mr. Murphey regularly tries cases in state and federal courts around the country, being admitted to practice before all Florida courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.