Thousands of accidental injuries to children occur each year in Florida, so it is important that parents understand the risks to their children.
There are many steps to take to protect your child. Among the most common major causes of injuries to children are medical malpractice, vehicle accidents, dangers on private property and childcare negligence.
Here are some ways to identify and prevent these accidental injuries.
Medical negligence can be devastating enough when it happens to you. But when it happens to our children, it can be almost too painful to fathom.
It is not enough to know your child’s doctor made a mistake. Unfortunately, medical care is extremely difficult, particularly when the stakes of survival or recovery are high. Therefore, many doctors make mistakes and freely admit it, as long as it remains within the expected spectrum of risk during treatment.
Malpractice did occur, however, if you can identify how the “prevailing professional standard of care” did not occur. It can be helpful to consult Florida Statute 766.102 to see what issues are indicators that the professional level of care was not a reality for your child.
The best way to prevent medical malpractice during your child’s treatment is to contact the Florida Board of Medicine to investigate if your child’s physician has any complaints against them.
In a serious accident, your personal injury protection insurance for you and your children will likely fall short in meeting all your new costs and emotional demands.
Serious car accidents are a major cause of injury to children in Florida.
The best way to prevent injuries to your child in vehicle accidents is to follow the laws pertaining to seatbelts and child car seats.
If your child is allowed to sit in the front seat, make sure that the airbags are turned off (this is a major safety hazard to your child).
When they use their seat belt, make sure that the belt comes across the chest rather than across the face and neck or below the arms.
Negligence with Regard to Personal Property
In Florida law, this is known as “premises liability.” Florida courts enforce the “attractive nuisance doctrine,” wherein property owners are expected to properly guard children from dangerous factors on their property.
For example, pools should be closed off, dangerous equipment should be locked away and anything that would “attract” a child to trespass and injure themselves on private property should be properly secured.
If your children are old enough to play in the yard and neighborhood reasonably unsupervised, make sure that they understand and respect trespassing laws. This will help to eliminate a lot of the injuries that can occur.
Negligence with Regard to Childcare
It can be a major breach of trust if your child suffers as a result of negligence on the part of childcare providers.
When hiring childcare, make sure that the indoor area is child friendly. Heavy furniture should be secured to prevent falling. Sharp objects should be out of reach for the children. Child gates/barriers should keep children from going to more dangerous parts of the building without supervision.
Outdoor play areas should be reasonably suitable for the age of your child. Those looking out for your child should respect any safety hazards that have been posted (such as minimum age and size requirements for certain playground activities).
If an injury to your child occurs as a result of negligence by someone else, you may have a good reason to file a personal injury suit.
For more information about how a South Florida attorney can help you identify and seek justice for personal injury, specifically injuries to children, contact Balkan & Patterson at 561-750-9191 or visit our website.