Child Injury Attorney Philadelphia
Most of us would never knowingly injure or abuse a child. However, child injury and abuse cases, as well as allegations, happen every day. In fact, some of these injuries result in child fatalities and horrendous grief for families. If you have been accused of injuring a child, or if you know it is happening and want to protect our most vulnerable population, let the personal injury attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices help. Our team of legal and medical experts will give your case a thorough overview and provide the information you need to ensure the child or children in question are safe.
Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics
The sad truth is, abuse and injury accounts for a great number of child fatalities. In 2008 alone, about 1740 children died from abuse and neglect across the United States. This averages out to about 2.33 deaths per 100,000 children. One April 2010 study found that across 16 states, about 1374 children under age 5 died because of maltreatment or another form of child injury. Between 2001 and 2010, there were a total of 15,510 deaths from child abuse and neglect. That is more than double the amount of combined military deaths in the United States in that time.
Other Types of Child Injury
A child fatality or serious injury doesn’t have to be related to abuse. Children can die from diseases and injuries that, while common, are no less insidious than active abuse and neglect. For example, Stanford Children’s Health reports there were about 23,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in children in the year 2010. Although fatalities from this and other tick-borne diseases are rarer than in the past, children can have serious symptoms that linger for months or even years and become more severe as time progresses.
Another cause of serious injury and fatalities in children is exposure to poisons. This can include carbon monoxide, lead, and mushroom poisoning, as well as the ingestion of toxic products like household cleaners. When children are poisoned, about 60% of cases involve plants or household products other than medications. Other poisonings occur because of incorrect medication dosages; only 30% of caregivers are able to measure dosages accurately according to Stanford Children’s Health.
Finally, some children can sustain serious illness or die because of rabies. This often happens because a pet was not properly vaccinated and received a bite from a wild infected animal. The disease is a virus that is 100% fatal if left untreated. Because initial symptoms such as fatigue, headache, and vomiting are vague, it may be impossible to catch the disease early.
Preventing Child Injury
At Ciccarelli, we encourage all our clients to do everything possible to prevent child injury, abuse, or neglect. If you encounter child abuse or neglect, report it immediately to the proper authorities. Also, take as many measures as possible to protect children in your home or on your property.
- Never leave medication, household cleansers, or other poisons in a place a child can access them.
- Ask your doctor for guidance on administering medication to children.
- Vaccinate pets against rabies and other diseases.
- Require children to wear helmets while biking or using scooters; do not allow any child under 16 to operate an all-terrain vehicle.
- Use safety gates and booster seats for young children.
- Make sure all your child’s vaccinations are up to date.
- Stay in close touch with your doctor for information about how to treat injuries and childhood illnesses.
Despite these and other precautions, serious child injuries can happen on the watch of the most vigilant parent or guardian. Additionally, it is easy for certain situations to be misinterpreted as willful child injury. For example, if your child has a bone disease such as osteogenesis imperfecta, you might be accused of child abuse. If that happens, or if you have another case involving child injury, contact our experienced Philadelphia injury lawyers. We will fight for you and your children.