Articles Posted in Attractive Nuisances

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Pool-Safety-300x280There is a common risk to children in the form of swimming pools.  Without proper supervision and safety devices like pool gates, fences, and alarms, children – especially toddlers – are at risk for drowning. In Australia, a coroner / medical examiner recommended that pools, spas, and other water hazards be banned at family day care centers. This recommendation follows the investigation into the death of a toddler – Lachlan Mitchell. The coroner opined that a swimming pool presented an unacceptable drowning risk to children.  While the coroner’s recommendation is not being adopted by the local child licensing agency, the recommendation aptly points out the significant risks posted by swimming pools in small day care centers as well as any day care center for that matter.  Yes, a swimming pool can be a wonderful activity to small children enrolled in a day care center.  Furthermore, teaching small children including toddlers how to swim can be quite beneficial as an essential life and survival skill for children.

A ban on swimming pools in day care centers can be seen by the day care operators as a drastic move or a somewhat draconian law.  Nevertheless, absent a ban – there will always be some risk by having a swimming pool on premises at a day care center.  Adult supervision is key.  While gates, locks, and alarms all serve a purpose, there is no substitute for the proper, ongoing, and constant supervision of the children enrolled in the day care center.  It is well known that swimming pools are attractive nuisances to children. In other words, children see the pool as a big playground and adventure rather than a danger.  Furthermore, children especially infants and toddlers have poor to no safety awareness when it comes to swimming pools and other waterways.  In addition to adult supervision, gates should be installed and maintained.  In addition, alarms should be put in place to alert day care center staff members when a child is in or near the pool area.  Video surveillance would also be helpful in detecting the presence of children in the pool area and in making sure that the children are properly supervised.

According to the United States Center for Disease Control, there is an average of about 3,500 fatal unintentional drowning deaths per year.  This is the average for the time period between 2005 and 2014.  Children under the age of 14 account for 1 in 5 of these deaths.  Furthermore, for every child who drowns – there are statistically 5 more children who are seen in an emergency room for non-fatal drowning related personal injuries.

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Restaurant-300x282There are common types of personal injury accidents or incidents that take place just about every day in any given geographic region – playground accidents, automobile accidents, bicycle accidents, and day care center incidents.   Then again, there are the not so common incidents that seem to be rare or one of a kind incidents.  Whether an accident or incident is common or rare, the same elements apply to establish a legal case or claim against another person, business, property owner, or government entity.  Here are the elements:

Duty;

Breach of Duty;

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By  David Wolf, Attorney

Fire Rescue Graphic Blue in SquareBounce houses are common sites in neighborhoods, parks, theme parks, attractions, and amusement centers. One potential dangerous condition in or near bounce house area is concrete.  If a bounce house is placed on concrete and there are any exposed areas, a serious personal injury can result.   There is also a danger to having any entry or exit areas near concrete.   As a child is entering or exiting a bounce house, the child can easily fall or lose balance.  This, in turn, can lead to a hard impact on the concrete.  This is especially dangerous if the child’s head hits the concrete ground surface.  Because of the dangers associated with bounce houses, it is advisable that bounce houses be installed by trained professionals and that all reasonable and available safety measures are provided to prevent serious injuries to children playing in or near the bounce house area.
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By  David Wolf, Attorney

sports_1000009537-120613intIn the summer and other times of the year, there is always a risk of drowning to toddlers, children, teenagers, and yes adults.  Putting safety measures in place is not just for special events and public pools.  Safety should be a priority any time that a person (of any age) is on, in, or near the water whether it is a swimming pool, water park, wading pool, lake, river, canal, or ocean.   Even a lazy river winding itself around the confines of a luxury resort can be the site of a horrible yet preventable drowning or near drowning incident. Most drowning or near drowning incidents can be prevented with the proper planning and the proper supervision of the swim area.   Let’s talk a bit about supervision.  Here is an equation to consider:
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By  David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Children, especially younger ones under the age of 5, are at serious risk for injuries when walking up or down stairs OR when on or near escalators.  When a summer camp, school, or day care center is supervising children on campus OR on a field trip, it is important to provide the necessary supervision to make sure that children are kept out of harm’s way.  Many staircases are built in a manner in which a child could crawl or squeeze between the bar. As such, at any given moment, a child, who is not under the constant watch or supervision of a child care provider, could slip away and suffer from a fall that leads to serious personal injuries or even death.
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By David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

household%20window%20fall%20injuries.jpgA common element in many homes can cause significant risk of injury to a child – the open window. Every year – over 5000 emergency room visits are reported that were necessitated when a child fell out of a window of a building. The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio collected research and reported on the dangers of falls out of windows and resulting personal injuries to children. The danger can be easily removed by having window guards installed in the home, school, day care center, and other location frequented by children. It is also vital that adult supervision is provided in these settings. See Falls from Windows Cause Injuries to Children.

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By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Detroit, Michigan, a second grader reported to city firefighters that her friend fell into a open storm drain that had no cover on it. Firefighters sprung into action to search for the missing girl. Rescue crews lowered two firefighters into the hole to continue the search. As it turns out, the report by the second grader was a fib or a hoax. The friend who supposedly fell into the storm drain was found safe somewhere else. The manhole / storm drain cover was replaced and the area is now a bit safer. While no one was harmed, the report did utilize the services of Detroit’s firefighters who may have been needed in another emergency somewhere else. See Girl Caught in Storm Drain is a Hoax.

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By Scott A. Marks, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

poison%20icon.jpgAccording to authorities, seven middle school students in San Francisco, California, were taken to the hospital after they ingested rat poison, which they mistakenly took for candy. The incident occurred at Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Middle school. A student told a parent about ingesting a blue cube found atop of filing a cabinet. A teacher later contacted poison control. Although the students showed no symptoms, they were taken to the hospitals for precautionary reasons. School officials say the incident is under investigation. To read more on this story please see Middle school students taken to hospital after ingesting rat poison mistaken for candy.

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By David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

Pool.jpgBoth spring break and summer are just around the corner, so now is a great time for parents and children to refresh their water safety skills. Planning ahead can make a day at the beach, pool or water park fun and relaxing for everyone.

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By David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

Cleaners.jpgAccording to a British organization, the Child Accident Prevention Trust, attractively packaged capsules containing dishwashing detergent pose a serious poisoning risk for children. The capsules contain highly-concentrated detergent, which can cause serious chemical burns. According to the Trust, “hundreds” of children are being poisoned, and they attribute an 11% increase in calls about accidental poisoning to the introduction of the new tablets on the market. Toddlers have reportedly suffered chemical burns to the throat, eyes and skin after biting or playing with the tablets. The vibrant packaging and attractive design of the tablets are believed to make the poison more attractive to young children.