Keeping children safe is a top priority for parents. This is one of many reasons why it is so devastating when products parents buy for their children - like strollers and baby carriers - turn out to be unsafe. Dangerous products can cause serious, life-changing harm. Unfortunately, thousands of kids each year are hurt as a result of unsafe consumer goods sold to parents for use with infants. In fact, new research shows us such instances are on the rise.
When an infant is hurt as a result of a defective baby product, one question raised is whether a product defect led to the accident or whether there was another issue, such as the product not being used correctly. If a product defect was the cause of harm, parents may explore holding the product manufacturer accountable. In some cases, it is not necessary to prove the defendant was negligent - only that the product was inherently dangerous and caused injury. Even in cases where baby products are used incorrectly, injury plaintiffs may assert the misuse was foreseeable, and the manufacturer knew or should have anticipated this misuse and issued an adequate warning.
Making a claim under product liability laws can help parents to get the compensation they need to get appropriate care for their injured child when an accident occurs involving baby gear.
Babies are at Significant Risk of Injury due to Common Products
Every eight minutes in the U.S., a child 3 or younger is hurt in an incident involving a baby product. This troubling information comes from Scientific American, which reported on research into the risks of baby products.
Researchers reportedly studied injuries to infants and very young children which took place between 1991 and 2011. Study authors were able to identify trends in which baby products were causing harm. The types of high-risk products changed over time, but serious risks to children still remain. In fact, there are more than 66,000 kids who get hurt each year before their third birthdays as a result of issues with baby products.
Early on in the study, there was a drop in injury rates. The decline came from increased attention to risks presented by baby walkers. These walkers could put children in serious danger of falling. As problems became more well-known, risks of fall-related injuries declined.
Unfortunately there were still plenty of other high-risk products. For example, problems with infant bedding were cited as a leading cause of injuries to babies. Hazardous cribs, mattresses and bedding were the cause of around 19 percent of injuries sustained by children according to the study. Drop side cribs in particular were especially dangerous and were causing many of the injuries to kids. Drop side cribs were banned in 2011, which will hopefully help drive down the number of child injuries over the course of the next decade.
In the last last four years of the research, injury rates skyrocketed, up 24 percent. There are many possible reasons for this, including potential problems with baby carriers. Baby carriers are the leading source of injury for infants, accounting for around 20 percent of all injuries. Baby carriers can be high-risk for young infants if the babies are not buckled in correctly, if the carrier is set on a counter or table instead of being set on the floor or if there is a problem with the carrier itself in which case the manufacturer could be held accountable for damages.