Head injury

Study: 30 Percent of Teen Drivers Suffer Head Injuries in Crashes

By Staff on April 2, 2012 - Comments off

According to new research from medical and insurance experts, 30 percent of teenagers involved in serious car accidents suffer head injuries including concussions, skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries. The Insurance Journal reports results of the study conducted by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm, which highlights a steady decline in teen driver–related fatalities over the last six years. However, researchers say car accidents remain the leading cause of death for teenagers and kill nearly five times as many 15- to 19-year-olds as cancer or poisoning. The research study examined data involving 55,000 teen drivers and their passengers who sustained serious injuries in the years 2009 and 2010.

Head injuries, especially traumatic brain injuries, can have life-changing consequences for young people and their families. The brain, according to doctors who performed the research, is the organ that is “least able to heal.” So, they say that prevention is the best medicine when it comes to traumatic brain injuries.

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Decline in Teen Fatalities

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the leading cause of brain injury-related death among those 15 to 19 years of age. Between 2005 and 2010, thanks to graduated licensing (GDL) programs in various states, fatal crashes involving teens declined by 46 percent. Deaths among teen passengers also declined by 41 percent. Five states including New Jersey have maintained rates of less than 10 crash-related deaths per 100,000 teens since 2005-2006. All five states have comprehensive GDL laws.

Keeping Teens Safe

The research study makes recommendations to further reduce catastrophic head injuries and fatal car accidents involving teens. Among these recommendations are increasing seatbelt use among young drivers and passengers, reducing distractions, teaching key driving skills and educating teens about the dangers of drinking and driving. As adults, it is up to us to lead by example. If you or a loved one has been injured in a New Jersey car accident, please contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer to better understand your legal rights and options.

 

Consumer Groups Urge Recall of Dangerous Baby Product

By Richard Console on February 8, 2012 - Comments off

Various consumer groups are on edge as the Consumer Product Safety Commission continues to avoid recalling one baby product that poses a significant hazard. The product in question is the Bumbo Baby Seats, manufactured by Bumbo International of South Africa. The seats are meant to help babies sit up before they are able to do so by themselves.

The product was recalled in 2007, but the only result of the recall was an added warning label. The initial problem was that babies were sustaining head injuries from falling out of the seats. Images of the product had illustrated the seat being placed on top of surfaces like tables. However, the seat has no safety belts so there is nothing keeping the child secured in the seat. With the recall the manufacturer along with the CPSC amended warning labels to include that the seat should only be used at ground level.

Despite the added warning label, babies are still suffering injuries as the result of this product. Back in November 2011, the CPSC addressed the concerns with a warning published on their website. The report stated that they along with the manufacturer were aware that injuries were still occurring even after the initial recall. It explained that since 2003 there have been 3,850,000 of these seats sold in the U.S. If they recognize the hazard, why are they not taking action?

Photo credit: CPSC.

According to Boston.com, a letter has been issued to the CPSC calling for action. The letter comes from several consumer groups including U.S. PIRG, Consumers Union, Public Citizen, the Consumer Federation of America, and Kids in Danger.

In the letter they stated, “Because serious injuries are occurring when this product is used as intended, and since these injuries involve an alarming number of skull fractures we have grave concerns about the safety of Bumbo International’s Baby Seat. Unlike other products intended for the same age range such as bouncers and stationary activity centers, there are no safety standards or testing requirements covering this type of product. In addition, manufacturers of similar products have made design changes to address the safety concerns associated with these types of products– a step Bumbo International has refused to take to date.”

The CPSC has an obligation to protect the public from dangerous or defective products. Most times they work in conjunction with the manufacturer when it comes to issuing recalls, but in this case it does not seem like Bumbo Intl. is willing to remove their dangerous product from the market. It is then the responsibility of the CPSC to take action on their home. It is unacceptable to allow these injuries to continue.

We here at our NJ injury law firm urge the public to boycott this product. Any parents who are allowing their children to sit in this chair should discontinue use because of the blatant hazard it poses to your child. We also urge the CPSC to stop ignoring this issue and to do what they must—recall this dangerous product.

Main photo credit: The Mommyhood Memos.

 

5 Tips to Protect Your Child from Head Injury

By Richard Console on February 2, 2012 - Comments off

When you are a parent, you want to protect your child from any and all dangers. You take steps to make your home safer and to make sure your child knows safe practices to avoid injury, yet each year one out of every 2.4 children are seen in an emergency room. Accidents do happen, but as parents it is important to take all necessary precautions to prevent child injury.

Head injuries are all too common with children. They can be caused from many different types of accidents including those sustained in a car accident, while at a park or playground, playing in the backyard, and within your home. The following tips will help reduce the chances of your child sustaining a serious head injury.

1. Helmets

Many head injuries are sustained when children are not wearing proper head protection while doing things such as riding a bike, scooter, or skateboard. Parents must be diligent in enforcing the use of helmets. While there are laws regarding the use of helmets it is important that children learn from example that means parents should also wear helmets when participating in activities such as riding a bike.

2. Bedtime Safety

Making sure your child’s bed is safe can be key to preventing a terrible accident. Make sure that the side rails on a crib are always up when your baby is in it. Bunk beds are dangerous and should be avoided, but if you must get a bunk bed make sure that there are safety railings on the top bunk and that it is made from sturdy materials. Bunks should not be an option for children under the age of 5 as they are more prone to dangerous actions such as jumping off the top bunk. In addition to the right bed, make sure your child knows that it is not a play place and do not allow them to jump on the bed.

3. Infants and High Places

Often times a parent will take their attention off their child when they are laying on a bed or couch. People think that by putting something like a pillow next to them will prevent them from moving, but infants can still roll off the bed or couch and this could lead to a head injury. Make sure that if you are going to have your baby lay on a couch or bed that you watch them and do not leave them in a high place unattended.

4. Safety Gates

Most people know the importance of having a safety gate on all stairwells, but choosing the right one is also key. Gates that have vertical bars with no cross pattern leaves room for children to reach through and they could get stuck. It is best to get a gate that has a lattice pattern that they cannot reach through. Also make sure that it is sturdily secured to the wall so that it cannot be knocked down should your child try to push on it.

5. Playtime Safety

Even when you are away from home you can take steps to protect your child. If they are going to a party where there is a moon bounce you must supervise them. Children have a tendency to jump without looking and often times this can lead to a collision with another child. Do not be afraid to tell your child when they need to jump further apart from other kids. Trampolines should be avoided if at all possible as they are extremely dangerous and can cause serious head and neck injury, but if they are going to use one make sure there is a surrounding safety net.

While we may not be able to prevent every accident it is possible to take preventative measures to try and avoid them. If your child has been injured in an accident you deserve to be compensated. Contact an injury lawyer in New Jersey today to find out your legal options. Call us at (866) 778-5500 and set up your free consultation.

 

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