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CPSC Urges Action as Lane and Virginia Maid Chests Linked to 14 Deaths

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to “immediately replace or remove” latches and locks on recalled Lane and Virginia Maid cedar chests. The chests have been linked to the deaths of at least 14 children.

Million of Dangerous Chests Remain Unfixed

According to a release, the CPSC originally recalled 12 million cedar chests manufactured by Lane and Virginia Maid in 1996 after noting that the automatically locking latches pose an entrapment and suffocation hazard to children. However, millions of these dangerous products remain unfixed.

Federal authorities state that between 1977 and 2015, 14 children have suffocated to death after becoming locked in the recalled chests. However, because the chests were initially manufactured in 1912, it is likely that additional deaths remain unrecorded.

The Lane Company and brand were recently acquired by United Furniture Industries, Inc. who is now distributing free replacement latches and locks to affected consumers.

Until a replace lock and latch is received, consumers should remove old style latches to eliminate the hazard.

Consumers should remember that in many cases, these recalled chests are handed down or purchased second-hand.

Child Choking, Suffocation, and Strangulation Statistics

The following statistics are provided by SafeKids USA:

  • In 2013, 1,268 children under the age of 19 died from airway obstruction injuries and suffocation.
  • Sadly, 77% of children who suffocated were under 12 months old and 60% were boys.
  • 819 children under the age of 1 died from accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed and 155 died from choking on food or foreign objects.
  • Cribs and playpens are responsible for 20% of all nursery product-related injuries among children ages 5 and under.
  • An additional 24,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for nonfatal suffocation or inhalation annually.
  • Button batteries are particularly dangerous because when they gets stuck in a child’s throat, saliva triggers an electrical current
    that causes a chemical reaction resulting in burns to the esophagus.

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

If your child sustained a choking or strangulation injury due to someone else’s negligence or due to a defective or dangerous product, contact Thomas J. Henry. Thousands of children are injured each year after being choked or strangled by a defective product, unsafe toy, or due to the negligence of daycare or school staff. Let us help you and your child get justice and the compensation you deserve. Call our experienced child choking hazard attorneys today for a free case review.

Church Finds One Instance of Alleged Assault During Daycare Investigation

 

A Chesapeake, Virginia daycare is under investigation following alleged reports of child abuse.

Details of the Chesapeake Daycare Abuse

According to WAVY, the investigation into the alleged abuse began on June 12, after the Chesapeake Department of Human Services informed Deep Creek United Methodist Church of “allegations of inappropriate discipline of children by staff members,” according to a letter sent by parents.

The letter did not go into detail about the allegations, but it did note that the staff members involved were put on administrative leave.

The church’s head Trustee, Tom Ambrose, stated in an interview that the church is cooperating with DHS and that it conducted an internal investigation. Their investigation found one instance of physical abuse of a child by a staff member. The incident involved an employee “touching a child’s neck,” and was reported to DHS immediately.

However, parents have been saying that they believe the problem runs deeper than what the church is presenting to the public.

Parents Recount Suspected Instances of Abuse

Sara Jacobs said that on June 11 her husband went to pick up their 2-year-old son from the daycare. When he arrived, the child was shirtless and had a mark on his back. Jacobs’ husband confronted a teacher who told him that she grabbed the toddler by the wrist and drug him out from under a desk because he wasn’t listening.

Jacobs reported the incident to DHS the day before they began their investigation and they reported the incident to the police on Wednesday.

The Chesapeake police confirmed they are investigating two allegations stemming from the daycare center — one involving a student being drug from under a desk by a church employee. The other was referred to police by DHS and involves alleged abuse between two juveniles.

Another mother, Ashley Tucker, says she withdrew her toddler from the daycare on Monday, adding that she’s been told stories that terrify her by four different former employees. Another parent, who chose to remain anonymous, stated that he took both of his sons from the church’s childcare center more than a year ago after he became concerned about the way staff disciplined the children.

He told interviewers about an incident where a student bit his toddler-aged son, school administrators used Tabasco sauce as a form of discipline, with the parent’s permission.

As a result of this allegation, the interviewers independently confirmed that Tabasco sauce was used regularly by the school to discipline children who bit.

Daycare Abuse Facts and Statistics

Child abuse in America takes on many forms, and the statistics tell a very unsettling story. There are thousands of daycare centers in the country that are licensed to care for children. That being said, some of these facilities harbor abusers who have easy access to our children, giving them the opportunity to carry out heinous acts of child abuse.

Data from 2006 (gathered from a collection of 39 states) showed that 5,321 daycare providers were found to be abusing and neglecting children in their care.

It’s estimated that boys and girls are equally likely to be victims of child abuse. A 2005 report states that 47.3 percent of all abused kids were male, while 50.7 percent were female. The age group most likely to be abused is children between the birth and 3 years of age.

The same report states that 49.7 percent of all child abuse victims were white, 23.1 percent were African-American, and 17.4 percent were Hispanic. American Indians accounted for 1.2 percent of abused children, while Asian-Pacific Islanders accounted for less than 1 percent of victims.

Contact an Experience Daycare Abuse 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. Call for a free case review.

Texas Deputy Arrested for Sexual Abuse of Undocumented 4-Year-Old Girl

An off-duty Bexar County Sheriff’s Department deputy has been arrested on a felony charge of sexual assault of a child. The deputy is accused of using the mothers status as an undocumented immigrant to cover for his crimes.

Mother of Abused Child Feared Deportation

According to CBS News, Jose Nunez, 47, who is a detention deputy, has been with the department for 10 years. The sheriff, Javier Salazar, states that the victim’s mother is an undocumented immigrant, and the suspect took advantage of that, due to the mother’s fear of deportation.

Nunez, is being charged with super aggravated assault. This is a charge that is applied when the victim is under the age of six. Salazar says the victim, who is four, cried out to her mother on Saturday. He stated that the mother had decided to report the abuse to a local fire station.

After this occurred, investigators quickly arrested Nunez, at about 3:00 am Sunday. Investigators believe that the abuse could possibly go back months or years. Nunez has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation. Internal affairs will also be conducting a separate case. Salazar also stated that “When one person or persons individually demonstrate like they did in this case that they’re not worthy to be part of this agency, then we’re going to, quite frankly, get them out of here. Cut them out like cancer.”

Javier Salazar said he encourages undocumented immigrants to continue to report crimes. He said there could be more victims in Nunez’s case.

What to Do if You Suspect a Child Is Being Abused?

Child sexual abuse is a crime that often goes undetected. You have the power to make a positive difference in a child’s life. Here are some tips to follow if you suspect a child is being abused:

  • Recognize the signs, both physical and behavioral:
    • Behavioral signs: Shrinking away from or seeming threatened by physical contact, regressive behaviors like thumb sucking, changing hygiene routines such as refusing to bathe or bathing excessively, age-inappropriate sexual behaviors, sleep disturbances, or nightmares
    • Physical signs: Bruising or swelling near the genital area, blood on sheets or undergarments, or broken bones
    • Verbal cues: Using words or phrases that are “too adult” for their age, unexplained silence, or suddenly being less talkative
  • Talk to the child:
    • Choose a safe space away from the person you may suspect of causing the abuse. Speak to the child in a casual, non-threatening tone to keep the child at ease. Talk to the child directly, using words that the child will understand. Avoid judgmental statements and questions and avoid blaming the child. Be reassuring to the child and let them know that you are concerned for them.
  • Report it to authorities:
    • Before reporting, tell the child you are going to talk to someone else who can help. Make sure the child is in a safe place, and if you are concerned about the child’s safety, be sure to let the authorities know. If you are not concerned that the parents are the ones causing harm, consult with them prior to reporting to authorities.

Contact an Experienced Child Abuse Attorney

If you believe that your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, contact Thomas J. Henry. For over two decades, Thomas J. Henry has been an advocate for sexually abused children across the state of Texas. Our experienced child injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.

 

5-Month-Old Girl Mauled by Babysitter’s Dog

A family in Georgia is in morning after their babysitter’s dog killed their five-month-old daughter. Clayton County Police Sgt. Ashanti Marbury stated that the dog, a German Shepard, mauled the little girl Tuesday at a home in Forest Park, Georgia.

Details of the Fatal Dog Attack

According to ABC News, the babysitter, a longtime friend of the baby’s family, told police that he put the baby down to sleep and then fell asleep in another room. Around 3 o’clock Wednesday morning, someone reported the little girl had been killed by the dog.

According to the family of the child, the dog had been around the baby since she was born. 

The police stated that no charges have been filed; however, the dog was euthanized

Statistics on Dog Attacks and Bites

Each day in the United States, there are approximately 1,000 people that require emergency treatment for injuries related to dog bites and attacks. Data compiled from government agencies, insurance companies, and NGOs show:

  • Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year.
    • Approximately 300,000 emergency room visits each year involve a dog bite.
    • Approximately 9,500 extended hospital stays each year are attributed to dog bites.
  • Children and men are the most at risk to suffer a dog bite.
  • Dog bites are one of the most common causes of injury for walking postal workers.
  • Biting dogs are 6.2 times more likely to be male, 2.6 times more likely to not be neutered, and 2.8 times more likely to be chained.
  • According to the CDC, over half of dog bite injuries occur at home with familiar dogs.
  • Adults with two or more dogs living at home are 500% more likely to suffer a dog bite injury than those living without dogs.
  • According to the CDC, approximately 18% of all dog bites become infected.

Contact an Experienced Dog Bite 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.

Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against Oklahoma School Allowed to Continue

 

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that officials at an Oklahoma school did nothing to stop sexual attacks against a middle school student.

About the Oklahoma Sexual Assault Ruling

Monday’s ruling allows the lawsuit against Washington Public Schools to continue forward. The judge, Stephen Friot, did, however, remove from the lawsuit school Superintendent A.J. Brewer and Principal Stuart McPherson in their official capacities.

According to the Seattle Times, the attorney for the school and the two officials did not immediately return a phone call for comment.

The suit alleges that school officials did nothing to stop the attacks against a student, 11 at the time the abuse began, during an eighteen month period that began with shoving and escalated into sexual assault.

What to Do If You Suspect a Child is Being Sexually Abused?

Child sexual abuse is a crime that often goes undetected. You have the power to make a positive difference in a child’s life. Here are some tips to follow if you suspect a child is being abused:

  1. Recognize the signs, both physical and behavioral:
    • Behavioral signs: Shrinking away from or seeming threatened by physical contact, regressive behaviors like thumb sucking, changing hygiene routines such as refusing to bathe or bathing excessively, age-inappropriate sexual behaviors, sleep disturbances, or nightmares
    • Physical signs: Bruising or swelling near the genital area, blood on sheets or undergarments, or broken bones
    • Verbal cues: Using words or phrases that are “too adult” for their age, unexplained silence, or suddenly being less talkative
  2. Talk to the child:
    • Choose a safe space away from the person you may suspect of causing the abuse. Speak to the child in a casual, non-threatening tone to keep the child at ease. Talk to the child directly, using words that the child will understand. Avoid judgmental statements and questions and avoid blaming the child. Be reassuring to the child and let them know that you are concerned for them.
  3. Report it to authorities:
    • Before reporting, tell the child you are going to talk to someone else who can help. Make sure the child is in a safe place, and if you are concerned about the child’s safety, be sure to let the authorities know. If you are not concerned that the parents are the ones causing harm, consult with them prior to reporting to authorities.

Contact an Experienced Child Abuse Attorney

If you believe that your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, contact Thomas J. Henry. For over two decades, Thomas J. Henry has been an advocate for sexually abused children across the state of Texas. Our experienced child injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.

Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Boy Scouts Chapter in Arkansas

A man is suing the central Arkansas chapter of the Boy Scouts of America on the claims of sexual abuse and negligence.

Details of the Lawsuit and Alleged Sexual Abuse

In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday, a man accused a leader of Boy Scouts Troop 16 and Webelos Unit 13 in Hot Springs of sexually abusing him on eight different occasions between 1979 and 1980. The plaintiff was between the ages of 10 and 12 at the time of the abuse.

The scout leader at the time of the abuse, who was in his mid-40s, was not listed as the defendant in the lawsuit.

However, the Quapaw Area Council, which oversees the entire region of Boy Scout groups, is listed as the defendant in the lawsuit. The lawsuit accuses the council of allowing the scout leader to volunteer even though they knew he had been accused of sexually abusing another young boy in Georgia.

After learning that the scout leader had sexually abused the plaintiff, the Quapaw Area Council had allegedly covered up the abuse by telling the plaintiff to not tell his family and by “facilitating and encouraging the payment of a severance for [the scout leader] to help ensure that information about his abuse of boys was kept secret,” the lawsuit states.

According to the lawsuit, the council did not report the abuse to law enforcement. The lawsuit also says that the purported abuse in Hot Springs is part of a systemic problem in the Boy Scouts of America. The organization has “aggressively marketed the wholesomeness and safety of its programs” but concealed “certain knowledge that pedophiles had been infiltrating [Boy Scouts groups] in large numbers for many years,” the lawsuit says.

The plaintiff has accused the council of negligence and fraudulent concealment. He has requested a jury trial and is seeking compensatory damages for years of “emotional distress and mental anguish.”

What Do I Do If I Suspect a Child Is Being Abused?

Child sexual abuse is a crime that often goes undetected. You have the power to make an enormous, positive difference in a child’s life. Here are steps to take if you think a child is a victim of sexual abuse:

  1. Recognize the signs, both physical and behavioral (see the list above)
  2. Talk to the child
    • Choose a safe space away from the person you may suspect of causing the abuse.
    • Speak to the child in a casual, non-threatening tone to keep the child at ease.
    • Talk to the child directly, using words that the child will understand.
    • Avoid judgmental statements and questions and avoid blaming the child.
    • Be reassuring to the child and let them know that you are concerned for them.
  3. Report it to authorities
    • Before reporting, tell the child you are going to talk to someone else who can help.
    • Make sure the child is in a safe place, and if you are concerned about the child’s safety, be sure to let the authorities know.
    • If you are not concerned that the parents are the ones causing harm, consult with them prior to reporting to authorities.

Suing Child Molesters in Civil Court

As is the case with many crimes, those responsible for child sex abuse can be tried in both criminal and civil court. In criminal court, they may be sentenced to jail time, prison time, or probation. In civil court, they can be sued for damages caused by their actions. Damages for sexual abuse cases may include:

  • Personal injury
  • Lost income and other financial losses
  • Past and future trauma and emotional distress
  • Past and future medical, counseling, and psychiatric bills
  • False imprisonment
  • Assault and battery
  • Exploitation
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

If you believe that your child has been the victim of sexual abuse, contact Thomas J. Henry. For over two decades, Thomas J. Henry has been an advocate for sexually abused children across the state of Texas. Our experienced child injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.

9-Year-Old Injured After Bounce House Blown onto Highway, Struck by Car

A 9-year-old boy came terribly close to tragedy after the bounce house he was in was sent airborne by strong winds before landing on a California highway where the boy was struck by a car.

About the Bounce House Accident

According to NBC News, the boy was at a party in a residential neighborhood in Adelanto, California, north of San Bernadino, on Saturday when the bounce house he was in was carried away by strong winds.

The bounce house was carried roughly a quarter mile before it landed on Highway 395 where the boy fell out and was struck by a car. The child survived the incident but did sustain injuries.

The incident remains under investigation.

Bounce House Incident Demonstrates a Larger Issue

This latest incident has brought the bounce houses back into the spotlight following a series of similar incidents over the past few years.

In 2014, two New York boys were thrown from a bounce house that had been carried 20 feet in the air by strong winds. One boy, 5, struck his head on a parked car after he fell from the airborne bounce house. The second boy, 6, fell to the street and suffered broken bones.

In an incident that occurred in Greenville, South Carolina last year, five children were injured when a gust of wind blew a bounce house into the air at a church carnival.

Experts remind consumers that bounce houses should be anchored with stakes that are at least 18 inches long and hammered at a 45-degree angle into the ground. Alternatively, if on concrete, sand bags should be used to weigh down the bounce house.

If winds exceed 15 miles per hour, no one should be allowed inside the inflatable structure.

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

If your child has been injured in an accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Children are vulnerable to injury, especially when negligent individuals and property owners put their safety in jeopardy. Automobile accidents, unsafe premises, medical malpractice, and defective toys can all cause severe harm to our children.

When your child suffers from a severe injury, you need a law firm with experienced injury attorneys and the legal resources to win your case. Thomas J. Henry has experience representing clients from across the nation in various types of accidents and obtaining record-breaking, real results.

Contact us today for a free legal consultation. Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan AntonioAustin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.

Texas Leads Nation in Hot-Car Child Deaths

According to experts, hot-car deaths claim the lives of 37 children every year. Texas currently leads the nation in hot-car child deaths.

Texas Accounts for 15% of Hot-Car Child Deaths

According to a report from Patch, 837 children under the age of 14 died in hot-cars between 1990 and 2017. 120 of those deaths, or just under 15% of the total number of deaths reported, occurred in Texas, which led the nation in hot-car child deaths.

Texas was followed by Florida, which recorded 89 deaths between 1990 and 2017, and only two states reported no child deaths due to vehicular heat stroke: Alaska and Vermont.

While many would attribute Texas’ abnormally high hot-car death rate to the states high population, experts noted that Texas still ranks high when looking at hot-car deaths on a per capita basis.

Experts also noted that outside temperature does not necessarily prevent hot-car deaths, with one test showing inside car temperatures climbing to more than 105 degrees within an hour of a car being shut off in an area with an outdoor temperature of 61 degrees. On warmer days, it can take as little as ten minutes for deadly interior temperatures to occur.

NHTSA Tips on Preventing Hot-Car Deaths

  • Look Before You Leave: If you have a child, get into the routine of always checking the back seats of your vehicle before you lock it and walk away.
  • Leave Yourself a Reminder: Take simple steps to remind yourself to check your car before leaving. One habit can be keeping a stuffed toy or other momento in your child’s car seat, then moving it to the front seat as a visual reminder when the baby is in the back seat. Another option is placing your phone, briefcase, or purse in the back seat when traveling with your child.
  • Conduct Routine Call-In Checks: If someone else is driving your child, or your daily routine has been altered, make a call to make sure the child arrived safely at the destination.
  • Keep Your Keys Out of Your Child’s Reach: Nearly three in 10 heatstroke deaths happen when an unattended child gains access to a vehicle. Keep your keys well out of reach of small children.

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

If your child has been injured in an accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Children are vulnerable to injury, especially when negligent individuals and property owners put their safety in jeopardy. Automobile accidents, unsafe premises, medical malpractice, and defective toys can all cause severe harm to our children.

When your child suffers from a severe injury, you need a law firm with experienced injury attorneys and the legal resources to win your case. Thomas J. Henry has experience representing clients from across the nation in various types of accidents and obtaining record-breaking, real results.

Contact us today for a free legal consultation. Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.

 

Harmony Juvenile Products Recalls 150,000 Car Booster Seats

Harmony Juvenile Products has issued a nationwide recall for 150,000 Big Boost Deluxe seats after determining the products pose a injury hazard to children.

Details of the Recalled Harmony Juvenile Products Booster Seats

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) documents, the booster seats’ belts can cause excessive force to be applied to the chest of children in the event of a collision, resulting in an increased risk of injury.

NHTSA also notes that, due to this defect, the booster seats fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard requirements.

A fix for the defective car seats is still under development, and Harmony Juvenile Products has not yet provided a notification schedule to federal regulators.

Tips for Preventing Car Seat Failures and Injuries

While not all car seat-related injuries can be prevented, taking a proactive approach to your child’s safety can greatly reduce the risk of car seat failure.

  • Register your car seat. Car seats come with a registration card that can be filled out and submitted with no postage required. In the event of a recall, you will be notified by the manufacturer similar to an auto recall.
  • Have your car seat checked. Many city fire departments and non-profits host free car seat checks. If you are expecting or if you already have your little one, take a few minutes to visit a car seat check location to ensure you car seat is installed correctly and recall free.
  • Do not alter or add items to your child’s car seat. Car seats undergo strict testing to ensure they are safe for children. When you add or remove items from a car seat, you could be making the car seat less effective and creating new hazards for your child.
  • Do NOT reuse a car seat that has been in an accident. Like air bags, car seats are good for ONE collision. You should never use a car seat that has been involved in a previous accident, even if it appears to be in “like new” condition.
  • Keep informed. Even if you filled out a car seat registration car, check for recalls regularly. Having extra information can only benefit you.

Contact an Experienced Car Seat Failure Attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys are experienced in defective child car seats and recalls. Your choice does matter. If your child has suffered because of a defective car seat, contact Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys immediately. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

Omaha Daycare Worker Arrested After Video Shows Abuse

A 58-year-old woman was arrested on charges of child abuse after a video showed the daycare worker hitting a 4-year-old child on the head.

About the Daycare Abuse

NBC-2 reports that the video shows the woman sitting across from a little girl at a table when she gets angry and hits the child on the head several times. The woman then punches the girl’s left arm.

The girl begins crying and says “that hurt me,” and the worker responds, “Good, I hope it hurt you” before shaking the girl violently.

Police identified the daycare worker in the video as Lynn Rowe. Rowe was arrested Thursday night in Missouri Valley, Iowa and is currently awaiting extradition back to Nebraska.

A former employee at the daycare had filmed the incident on March 28 and sent the video to the child’s mother on April 2.

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. Call for a free case review.

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