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Serious Knee Injuries Becoming More Common in Children and Teens

Research shows that injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are becoming more common among children and teenagers in what experts call “a significant public health issue.”

More Than Half of Child ACL Injuries Are Sports Related

The ACL is one of four ligaments in the knee and is critical in stabilizing the knee when it rotates and connecting the thigh bone to the shin bone. ACL injuries often require surgery and can leave young people at an increased risk of developing future health problems.

In a new infograph published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers note that the annual rate of ACL injuries recorded among children and teens in the Australian state of Victoria increased nearly 148 percent over the course of a decade.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) says the recovering from an ACL injury is difficult and evidence indicates that people who have suffered ACL injuries will develop osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis over time.

The research behind the infograph also showed that more than half of all ACL injuries suffered by children under the age of 14 were related to sports activities.

Experts say greater demands placed on young athletes, more intense training, and a new focus on sports specialization at a younger age have led to an increase in sports-specific knee injuries. With that, parents, coaches, trainers, and children should have ongoing communication about injury prevention and recovery.

Causes and Symptoms of an ACL Injury

The majority of ACL injuries occur during sports and fitness activities that put stress on the knee. Actions that may cause an ACL injury include:

  • Suddenly slowing down and changing direction (cutting)
  • Pivoting with your foot firmly planted
  • Landing from a jump incorrectly
  • Stopping suddenly
  • Receiving a direct blow to the knee or collision, such as a football tackle

When the ligament is damaged, there is usually a partial or complete tear across the tissue. A mild injury may overextend the ligament but leave it intact.

When an ACL injury happens, you will almost certainly realize that something is wrong. Symptoms include:

  • Severe pain
  • A loud pop or a popping sensation in the knee
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion
  • A feeling of instability or inability to bear weight on the leg

Has Your Child Suffered a Sports Related Injury?

If your child was harmed while taking part in organized sports or other outdoor activities, contact Thomas J. Henry immediately. Our experienced child sports injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to provide you with a free case review. Let us help you and your child obtain the compensation you need and deserve for your child’s injuries. Call us today.

 

Infant Suffocation Deaths on the Rise

The number of infants dying of suffocation before their first birthday has been on the rise in recent years. A new study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests the increase is at least partly due to parents not following safe sleep recommendations.

Baby Suffocation Deaths More than Doubled

According to Reuters Health, the number of babies under the age of one who have died of suffocation more than doubled between 1999 and 2015, from 12.4 fatalities for every 1,000 U.S. infants to 28.3 fatalities for every 1,000 U.S. infants.

For context, this means that in 2015 alone, 1,100 infants suffocated to death with the majority of the fatalities occurring while the babies were sleeping.

The study’s co-author, David Schwebel of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says that the spike may be the result of parents not following “safe sleep” recommendations. Current guidelines recommend infants be placed in sleeping areas without stuffed animals, soft blankets, pillows, or other items that could pose a suffocation hazard.

Dr. Jeffrey Colvin of Children’s Mercy Kansas City, who was not part of the study, also cited bed sharing as a possible factor. This is not limited to intentional bed sharing as some deaths are attributed to parents accidentally falling asleep next to their child.

Preventing Suffocation with Safe Sleep Practices

When putting your child down to sleep, it is important that you create a safe sleeping space. Not only can this help reduce the risk of suffocation, but practicing safe sleep guidelines is also proven to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

  • Room Sharing – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says your baby should sleep in your room for at least the first 6 months of their life. Statistics suggest that room-sharing can lower the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.
  • No Bed Sharing – Room sharing does not mean bed sharing. Your baby should sleep in his or her own space, whether that is a bassinet, crib, or co-sleeper (a separate sleeping area that attaches to your bed).
  • Use Proper Bedding – Make sure the mattress or bedding in your child’s sleeping space is firm with a tightly fitted sheet.
  • An Empty Sleep Space is the Safest – Your baby’s sleeping space should be empty except for your baby. This means no bumper pads, soft toys, positioning devices, pillows, blankets, quilts, or reachable toys with strings.
  • Put Your Baby to Sleep on Their Back – Every time you put your child down to sleep, lay them down on their back with their face facing up. This is how your baby should sleep until they are able to roll from back-to-front and front-to-back easily and without assistance.

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been the victim of a serious injury caused by a defective crib, playpen, or bassinet, contact our offices. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends. If you are unable to make it to one of our offices, we will send one of our attorneys to you. Let us help you and your child achieve justice and compensation for injuries caused by a crib manufacturer’s negligence. Call us today for a free legal consultation.

10-Year-Old Crawls a Quarter Mile for Help Following Hit-and-Run

A 10-year-old boy had to crawl about a quarter of a mile home for help after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in northwest Austin.

Mother Pleas for Public’s Help in Identifying Hit-and-Run Driver

According to KGNS, Caden Walsh was walking home when a driver jumped the curb onto the sidewalk and struck him. The impact from the collision threw Caden into a tree. Bloodied and disoriented, the boy began crawling home.

Jay Brady recalled finding his stepson at the bottom of their home’s stairs, screaming and covered in blood. “He probably has a ball pin hammer-sized chunk of his leg missing,” said Jay Brady. While Brady did not suffer any broken bones, his leg wound did require stitches.

Caden’s mother, Heather Brady, is calling on the public to assist in identifying the driver who struck her son and left him for dead.

“He could have been dead on the side of the road because somebody just took off, because they didn’t care enough to even check on him,” said Heather Brady. “What kind of person does that?”

Texas Auto Accident Statistics

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):

  • 3,773 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2016, marking a 5.45-percent increase from 2015.
  • Pedestrian fatalities totaled 678 in 2016 – up an alarming 21.5 percent from the previous year.
  • An additional 265,076 people were injured in auto accidents in Texas in 2016.
  • Based on reportable crash data for 2016, TxDOT estmates:
    • One person was killed every 2 hours and 20 minutes
    • One person was injured every 1 minute and 59 seconds
    • A reportable crash occurred every 57 seconds

 

Corpus Christi Teen Hospitalized After Dog Attack

A Miller High School student was hospitalized last week after being attacked by a pack of five dogs.

About the Corpus Christi Dog Attack

According to KRIS-TV, the incident occurred Wednesday on the 400 block of Old Robstown Road as the 15-year-old student was walking home from school.

Details on the boy’s injuries were limited, but the attack was severe enough that the child had to be hospitalized.

All five dogs involved were picked up from their home on Friday. They will be quarantined for ten days to determine if any of them have rabies. All five dogs were identified by Corpus Christi Animal Care Services as American Staffordshire Terrier Mixes.

It is unclear if the owner of the dog will face charges.

National Dog Bite Statistics

  • Roughly 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States each year.
  • In 2015 alone, 34 people died of dog bite-related injuries.
  • Children between the ages of 5 and 9 have the highest rate of dog-bite injuries, and children are also more likely to require medical treatment their injuries.
  • More than 60 percent of dog bites happen at home or at a familiar place, and 75 percent of dog bites come from dogs that belong to a friend or family member.

Many dog bites can be avoided if proper action is taken. Here are some safety tips for avoiding a dog bite:

  • Remain motionless when approached by an unfamiliar or aggressive dog.
  • Curl into a ball and cover your head and neck with your hands if you are knocked to the ground.
  • Let other adults know about stray or strange dogs in the area.
  • Never let small children play around dogs unsupervised.
  • Do not approach unfamiliar dogs.
  • Let a dog see and sniff you before petting it.

Contact an Experienced Dog Bit Attorney

If you or your child are a victim of dog bites, you may be entitled to compensation for your physical, emotional, and mental pain and suffering. Negligent property owners and dog owners could owe you damages. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are available 24/7 to hear your case. If you were injured by a dog, contact Thomas J. Henry for a free case review.

Child Abuse Deaths in Texas Increase by 30 Percent

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released troubling new statistics showing child abuse-related deaths are on the rise across the nation. Texas saw the biggest increase, recording a spike of roughly 30 percent.

About the Child Abuse Fatalities in Texas

According the new study, Texas led the nation in child abuse-related deaths for the 2016 fiscal year with 217 child fatalities being attributed to abuse and neglect. This is up from 162 deaths the previous year.

Experts are struggling to understand the reasons behind the increases and have a few theories. According to TexProtects, a nonprofit focused on reducing child abuse, increasing caseloads for CPS employees may be preventing abused children from getting the services they need.

Another possible factor is the growing opioid crisis. According to Dimple Patel, associate director of Public Policy for TexProtects, 51 percent of child abuse-related fatalities recorded in Texas involved a caregiver who was either actively using or under the influence of drugs at the time of the child’s death.

While the causes are still subject to speculation, experts agree that early intervention for families where drug abuse is occurring and expanding services for families where abuse and neglect has already occurred are essential in curbing the problem.

National Child Abuse Statistics

The following information was provided by ABC News:

  • A total of 1,700 fatalities were attributed to child maltreatment in fiscal year 2016, a 7-percent increase from 1,589 the previous year.
  • The largest increases in child abuse-related fatalities were in Texas, where fatalities jumped from 162 to 217, and Indiana, where fatalities doubled from 34 to 70.
  • A commission created by Congress two years ago concluded that the U.S. lacks a coherent and effective strategy for recorded and reducing child abuse-related deaths. While annual deaths reported by the Department of Health and Human Services tend hover in the range of 1,500 to 1,600 per year, the commission suggested the true number of annual deaths may be as high as 3,000.
  • An estimated 70 percent of children killed in child abuse cases were under the age of 3.
  • It is estimated that 676,000 children were victims of abuse or neglect in 2016.

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

If you believe your child has suffered from physical or sexual abuse, contact Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys immediately. We have the knowledge and experience to handle your child’s case. We will also take immediate action to prevent any further mistreatment.

Our attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. Your choice does matter. Contact our offices for immediate assistance. We represent clients/victims all over the country.

 

Orlando Daycare Closes After 3-Year-Old Dies in Hot Van

The Florida Department of Children and Families has issued a final order which closes the two existing locations of Little Miracles Academy. The decision comes after the August death of a 3-year-old who was left in a hot van.

Details of the Accident and Daycare Closures

According to WFTV, the DCF argued that both daycare facilities were negligent, citing the child’s death as well as issues that had occurred at both locations prior to the toddlers death.

Among the problems addressed by the DCF was a failure to track transportation logs meant to prevent kids from being left inside daycare vehicles. Investigators learned that 3-year-old Myles Hill was left in the van despite staff members marking him as present in the building.

The driver of the daycare van, Deborah St. Charles, has been charged with aggravated manslaughter. Authorities noted that St. Charles got in and out of the vehicle twice without checking for Myles. Additionally, St. Charles was not state approved to drive the daycare van.

Hot Car Child Deaths

The following facts and statistics were provided by Kidsandcars.org and Noheatstroke.org:

  • Of parents of children who have died of vehicular heatstroke, 54.25% have done so unknowingly.
  • A total of 87% of children who have died of vehicular heatstroke were 3 years of age or younger, and 54% were age one or under.
  • On average, 37 children die each year to due heatstroke from being left in a hot car.
  • Children can die of heatstroke in a car in temperatures as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been the victim of a serious injury, contact our offices. We represent clients/victims all over the country. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

 

 

2 Daycare Staffers Charged After Hot Glue Gun Incident

Two staffers from a Chicago daycare are facing charges following an alleged incident in which five toddlers were injured with a hot glue gun.

Details of the Hot Glue Gun Incident

According to ABC News, Lizandra Cosme, 32, was arrested Sunday and charged with five counts of aggravated battery of a child following a closed-circuit video which showed her using a glue gun on five 2-year-olds at the Children’s Learning Place in Chicago.

Prosecutors say the video shows Cosme applying burning liquid glue directly to the arms and hands of five children. Prosecutors say the video shows the children wincing and whining at the hot glue application.

In addition, it is alleged Cosme tried to cover up the incident by applying burn balm to one of the children when she spotted marks beginning to form and asked a father if his child’s burns were suffered at home.

The daycare’s director only became aware of the incident after another mother, an ER physician, noticed the burn injuries and reported them.

A second woman, Susana Gonzaleas, is charged with five misdemeanor charges of causing the circumstances of child endangerment.

Daycare Injury Statistics

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, at least six out of ten — nearly 13 million — infants, toddlers and preschool children are enrolled in daycare. These centers are supposed to be providing substitute care for your children, but sadly we find that sometimes they may cause more harm than good.

  • According to the CPSC, approximately 31,000 children under age 4 are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for injuries at child care settings on average.
  • 8% of the child care settings had cribs that did not meet current safety standards.
  • 24% of the child care settings did not have safe playground surfacing.
  • 13% of the child care settings did not use child safety gates where necessary.
  • 26% of the child care settings had loops on the window blind cords.
  • 5% of the child care settings had products that had been recalled by CPSC.

Contact an Experienced Daycare Injury Attorney

If your child has been injured after an accident or abuse at a daycare center, contact Thomas J. Henry. Parents put their trust in the staff of a daycare facility to keep their children safe and out of harm’s way. It is unacceptable for a child to be subjected to abuse or an unsafe premises while in their care. If your child was seriously injured due to the negligence or abusive actions of daycare staff, call our experienced child injury attorneys today.

Thomas J. Henry has the legal and financial resources necessary to develop your child’s case properly. We have offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Houston, and Austin, Texas. Call for a free case review.

 

Playground Safety Tips

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), each year more than 200,000 people are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with playground equipment, with the majority of these injuries involving children under the age of 15 years.

Following these simple playground safety tips can help ensure your child is protected and can help prevent potentially catastrophic injuries from occurring.

Practice Active Supervision When Your Child is Using Playground Equipment

Active supervision is not hard to practice; after all, your child will likely be calling for you to watch them jump, slide, swing, or climb. Additional steps can include:

  • Checking the playground for hazards, such as rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces.
  • Teaching your child that pushing, shoving, and crowding can be dangerous, especially on playground equipment.
  • Have your child dress appropriately for the playground. This means removing necklaces, scarves, clothing with drawstrings, and purses as they may pose a strangulation hazard.
  • Remember that little kids and big kids play different. Try to have a separate play area for children under 5.

Use a Play Ground That is Right for Your Child’s Age

Playgrounds are made for children of all ages, but certain areas of the playground may have equipment that your child is not quite ready to tackle.  Try the following:

  • Ensure your child is using age appropriate equipment. For example, most children under two lack the balance for ladders or steps made of rounded bars.
  • Babies who are learning to walk should play in an area that has a smooth and easy to walk on surface.
  • Only use baby swings if your child has fairly good head control and can sit up with limited support (usually about 9 months old).

Check the Surface Beneath the Playground

Playgrounds use a variety of surfaces beneath equipment. Things to consider when checking the surface of a playground, consider the following:

  • Avoid playgrounds that use non-impact absorbing surfaces. This includes asphalt, concrete, grass, dirt, or gravel.
  • Look for recommended surface materials like: sand, pea gravel, wood chips, mulch and shredded rubber. Rubber mats, and synthetic turf.
  • Surfaces should be at least 12 inches deep and extend at least six feet in all directions around stationary playground equipment.
  • When using swings, make sure that the safe surface extends both in front and behind the swing. Also, the surface should stretch a distance that is twice the height of the suspending bar.

Make Sure the Playground You Use are Inspected and Maintained by Qualified Personnel

Playgrounds undergo regular inspections and any potential hazards should be addressed during those inspections. You can help in this process by:

  • Double checking with your child’s school or daycare to make sure they have age-appropriate and well maintained playground equipment.
  • If there are any hazards in a playground, report them. Also, do not allow children to use the equipment until the equipment has been repaired.
  • Report any hazards to the organization responsible for the site, such as the school, park authority, or city council.

 

Skip Hop Recalls Convertible High Chairs for Fall Hazard

Skip Hop has issued recalls for 7,900 convertible high chairs after determining they pose a fall hazard to young children.

About the Skip Hop High Chair Recalls

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the front legs of the high chairs can detach from the seat, causing the chairs to tip forward and fall. Skip Hop has received 13 reports of high chair legs detaching, resulting in two injury reports.

The recalled high chairs were sold at Babies “R” Us. Buy Buy Baby, Target, Kohls, Dilliards, and other stores nationwide as well as online at Amazon.com and Skiphop.com. Defective unites were sold between December 2016 and September 2017 for about $160.

Parents should stop using the recalled high chairs and contact the manufacturer for a free replacement.

Description of the Recalled High Chairs

The recalled high chairs are charcoal in color and convert from a high chair into a toddler chair.

Parents can find the style numbers 304200 or 304200CN with a date code found on the back of the chairs. Date codes included in the recall are:

  • HH102016
  • HH11/2016
  • HH3/2017
  • HH4/2017

The highchairs come with a reversible seat pad, removable tray, 5-point harness, and a beechwood footrest and legs.

 

Air Gun Eye Injuries Among Kids Skyrocketed 169% Between 1990 and 2012

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found that air gun-related eye injuries suffered by children increased by nearly 170% from 1990 to 2012.

Increase in Air Gun Eye Injuries Goes Against Current Trends

According to CNN, the study examined sport- and recreation-related eye injuries among children over a 23-year period. Researchers found that eye injuries were most prevalent in basketball, baseball and softball, and while using nonpowder gun, including air soft guns and paintball guns.

While the study found an overall decrease in child eye-injury rates, recording an average of about 19,209 eye injuries per year, eye injuries associated with bb, pellet, and paintball guns increased by 168.8 percent. Additionally, eye injuries caused by nonpowder guns accounted for 11 percent of eye injuries recorded and for nearly half of all sport-related eye injury hospitalizations.

Researchers noted a rate of nonpowder-gun-related eye injuries of 1.61 per 100,000 children in 1990 versus a rate of 4.34 per 100,000 children in 2012.

Research also suggests that only 11 percent of the air gun eye injuries were sustained when an adult was present. In other words, 89 percent of all air gun eye injuries suffered by children occurred when there was no adult supervision.

Possible Reasons for the Eye Injury Increase and Potential Routes for Prevention

While researchers did not identify an exact reason for the increase in nongunpowder-gun-related eye injuries, experts do have a few ideas. Some opine that an increase in the number of nongunpowder-guns available along with deteriorated supervision during the use of such products could be attributing the increase.

As such, adults are urged to supervise and monitor children using air guns. Children should also wear protective eye gear at all times. Parents should also only allow children to use paintball guns at insured commercial paintball fields that have rules for player safety and safe operation guidelines.

The National Rifle Association goes even further, stating “air guns must be treated with the same respect and safety considerations given all guns.”

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