Personal Injury: CHILDREN INJURY

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In Ontario, children and youth have the best possible start in life and every opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential. And our major concern is to keep our children healthy and well protected when they grow. But accidents happen. And if it is the case, do not hesitate to contact us: we will do our best to provide your child with full and fair financial compensation.

The most common injuries

According to the Safe Kids Canada, major causes of unintentional injury deaths among Canadian children ages 0-14 years for the period 2000-2005 were the following:

  • Drowning (15%)
  • Motor vehicle passenger (14%)
  • Suffocation (13%)
  • Pedestrian (12%)
  • Fire/Burns (8%)
  • Cyclist (4%)
  • Fall (3%)
  • Poisoning (2%)
  • Struck by/against (2%)
  • Other causes (26%)

The three leading causes of injury-related deaths for children are drowning (pools, bathtubs, bath seats, boats, ponds, lakes and streams), motor vehicle collisions and suffocation.

According to the Safe Kids Canada, major causes of unintentional injury deaths among Canadian children ages 0-14 years for the period 2000-2005 were the following:

  • Fall (37%)
  • Playground falls (8%)
  • Struck by/against (9%)
  • Cyclist (7%)
  • Poisoning (6%)
  • Motor vehicle passenger (3%)
  • Fire/Burns (3%)
  • Cut/Pierce (2%)
  • Pedestrian (2%)
  • Suffocation (1%)
  • Drowning (1%)
  • Other causes (26%)

Child Fall-Related Injuries in Canada

Falls are the major cause of injury-related hospitalizations for children. Falls can take place at home, school and on the playground. Injuries from falls among children present a hard economic burden, for example, it cost Ontario $311 million in 1999.

There are some numbers:

  • Among children zero to five years, 66% of all injuries occur in the home.
  • Falls are the primary reason children are hospitalized, accounting for 37% of childhood injury admissions.
  • Approximately 1,700 children 14 years and under are hospitalized every year for a fall related to chairs, beds, stairs and steps.
  • Children can fall from adult chairs, high chairs, car seats and bouncy chairs. Falls from bouncy chairs or car seats can happen when they are placed on an elevated surface (kitchen counter).
  • Growth and development play a crucial role in the risk of falls in children (rolling over for the first time on a change table while diaper is being changed).
  • The majority (68%) of children hospitalized due to falls from beds or chairs are under five years.
  • 33% of falls involving stairs and steps were in children under 5 years, 23% for 5–9 years and 14% for children aged 10–14 years.
  • Approximately 2,500 children 14 years and under are hospitalized annually for playground injuries of which: 15% are head injuries, 81% are for fractures in other parts of the body and 5% for other injuries (dislocation, open wound, etc).
  • A fall down the stairs in a baby walker makes it twice as likely for a child to sustain a serious head injury.
  • Falls from windows are rare but can lead to serious injury or death when a child reaches an open window while climbing on furniture.
  • Babies fall off beds or from cribs while playing, sleeping or trying to get out of it. Between 1990 and 2007, there were 5,403 cases of injuries associated with the use of bunk beds. The most common circumstances cited were playing, sleeping/resting in and getting in or out of the top bunk.
  • Trampoline injuries are rising. In 1990–2007, there was an average annual per cent increase of 15.4% for these types of injuries.
  • The 2005 rate of fall-related deaths in children 0–19 years was 0.3 deaths/100,000 persons of which 80.9% were male.

Child Car Safety

Seat Belt

  • A properly worn seat belt greatly increases the chances of surviving a motor vehicle collision.
  • No doubling up – only one person per seat belt.
  • A typical seat belt assembly consists of a lap and shoulder belt. The shoulder belt should be worn closely against the body and over the shoulder and across the chest, never under the arm. The lap belt should be firm against the body and low across the hips.
  • Safe and proper use of child safety restraints includes keeping children in the rear seat.

Airbags

Children leaning on a side airbag or not properly restrained out of the path of a deployed side airbag are at risk of serious injury. Guidelines for restraining children are:

  • Children 12 years and under are safest in the back seat away from front airbags.
  • Never put a rear-facing car seat, forward-facing car seat or booster seat in the front seat when there is an airbag.
  • Children at least 13 years old riding in the front seat should sit up straight and not lean against the car’s door. Keep the space between a child and the door free of objects, like toys, blankets and pillows. In a crash, children could be hurt when the airbag is deployed.
  • Adults and older children who have outgrown the booster seat should be buckled in using the seat belt and, if in the front, move the seat as far back as possible to give the airbag as much room as possible in which to inflate.

Pedestrian

Preliminary research with 10-11-year-old children provides strong evidence that talking on a cell phone while crossing a street increases a child’s risk of being struck by a vehicle by up to one-third.

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