Child Safety

Kellam T. Parks
Managing Member of Parks Zeigler, PLLC

It’s the worst kind of case a lawyer has to handle, a child seriously injured or killed in an accident. Many injuries involving children can be prevented with a few simple steps to ensure the safety of children in your care.

These accidents can and do happen to “anyone” and occur more than you might suspect.

  • Always be aware of a child’s whereabouts. Being in the Tidewater area, not only are we living with water all around us, we frequently prepare for storms. Such preparation may mean filling your tub with water and seen as a fun spot for kids; however, kids are attracted to water wherever it is located, not just pools or lakes. 
  • Walk through your house and look at child level, what do you see that could be dangerous? For example, shiny objects like knives or a weapon that is supposed to be off limits.  A pill bottle may look like a candy dispenser to a small child. Make sure sharp objects,  guns/weapons, medicines and chemicals are stored out of reach or locked away without reachable access to the key.
  • Open windows invite us all to look out and can be hazardous for children falling out even through screens, especially if you have floor to ceiling windows where the window sill is very low and even toddler accessible.  Do not put furniture near a window that a child could climb up into the window. You can buy window guards inexpensively at your local hardware store.
  • Develop the habit of walking around your car before backing up or moving forward. Not only to ensure there are no children playing in the area, but also for that toy left in the driveway. When buying a car, opt to add the “back-up” camera and/or sensor if available. Install a glow in the dark trunk opener for the inside of your trunk to avoid entrapment. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports an average of five children dying each year from power window. Read more here: http://goo.gl/dvB07
  • It can get 20 degrees hotter inside a car within 10 minutes and a restrained child cannot draw attention to him or herself or get to anything to drink. Children dehydrate at a much quicker rate than adults. Get a brightly colored stuffed animal that stays in the car. Put in front seat when there is a child in the back and put in the back when you remove the child from the car. Other helpful tips can be found at http://goo.gl/S2aC5

Auto Accidents are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the U.S. The right car seat or booster, used properly, can help prevent serious injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 32,885 deaths occurred in 2010 due to auto accidents. It’s estimated that 95% of car seats are improperly installed. NHTSA offers this link for choosing the appropriate seat and use of seats for your children

Teaching your young child to be aware of safe rider rules will help when that same child becomes a driving teenager.

 

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