A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that baby injuries associated with the use of certain types of baby products are on the rise. Analyzing 21 years of hospital emergency room data, the study reported a 23.7 percent increase in injuries to young children between 2003 and 2011. Most injuries were to the child’s head, neck, or face, and 80 percent of injuries were the result of a fall.
Many injuries occur because the caregiver misuses the product or simply does not know how to use it properly, but several injuries were the result of a product defect or design flaw in the manufacturing process. The study found that four types of baby products were the most likely to cause injury:
Carriers. Baby carriers, both hard and soft were the most likely to be involved in injuries to children under age 3. Injuries involving baby carriers most often involved a child who was able to wiggle out of the safety straps. Some of the more severe injuries occurred when a child fell out of a carrier that was sitting up high on a piece of furniture or a kitchen counter.
Cribs and Mattresses. The next most common baby product that caused injury was the baby crib. Drop-side cribs were banned in 2011, due to the large number of children unlatching the lock on the side and falling or climbing out. Still, there are cribs on the market today that do not offer a low enough setting to keep a child from being able to climb out. Crib mattresses are also subject to strict manufacturing regulations and must be a certain size to avoid gaps between the mattress and the crib walls.
Strollers. Strollers were another common source for injuries to small children. Failed safety straps, malfunctioning wheel brakes, and poorly designed seats can lead to a child falling out of a stroller or falling with a stroller when it rolls out of the locked position. Children may also climb on strollers and experience dangerous falls.
Walkers, jumpers, or exercisers. When walkers were first introduced, they were highly functional and allowed babies to move very quickly. After an astounding number of children were severely injured after being in a walker that fell down a set of stairs, manufacturers were required to limit the product’s abilities so that they could only be moved slowly.
Jumpers and exercisers can be dangerous to children with advanced skills and their use should be discontinued once a child reaches the size or age where they are able to climb out. If a walker, jumper, or exerciser is advertised for older age children, yet does not offer proper safety restraints to prevent falling, the manufacturer can be held responsible for the child’s injuries.
It is important to thoroughly inspect a baby product before it’s first use and continue to monitor it for signs of dangerous wear. Pediatricians also recommend reading the product manual, even for seemingly simple products. Understanding how to properly use a product and the age the product is designed for is a caregiver’s best option for keeping a child safe. It is also recommended that you register your product with the manufacturer whenever possible, to ensure that you will be notified if a recall is ever issued.
While misuse of baby products can lead to injury, some products fail and cause a child to suffer severe trauma and injury. A Biloxi product liability lawyer can build your case to hold the manufacturer responsible and earn you the financial reward you need to pay for the best possible recovery care for your child. Corbun Gunn, Attorney at Law is believes that every child in the state of Mississippi deserves to be safe. Contact our legal team today for a free, no-obligation consultation of your case.