Child Choking and Strangulation Injuries

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Each year, approximately more than 1,000 children die from airway obstruction injuries

While some accidents are unavoidable, caregivers can help reduce the likelihood of suffocation and strangulation injuries by following simple safety guidelines and avoiding dangerous and defective toys and faulty household products.

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Child Choking 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 get stuck in a child’s throat, the saliva triggers an electrical current that causes a chemical reaction resulting in burns to the esophagus.

Common Causes of Choking Injuries in Children

At least one child dies from choking on food every five days in the U.S., according to the New York State Department of Health. Thousands more are treated for choking cases involving gum, coins, toys, and other household objects. Common causes of choking include:

  • Food
  • Gum
  • Coins
  • Small balls
  • Balloons
  • Pillows
  • Cushions
  • Necklaces
  • Ribbons
  • Batteries
  • Small toys or parts of toys
  • Peanuts and almonds
  • Tough meat
  • Small fruits and vegetables (i.e. grapes and cherry tomatoes)
  • Candy

Leading Causes of Strangulation Injuries in Children

Strangulation, which can result in serious injury, brain damage, and death, can occur within minutes. Strangulation incidents can be caused by drawstrings, ribbons, and cords, and by entrapment in pieces of future, playground equipment, or strollers.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has implemented strict rules regarding drawstrings, blinds, and other strangulation and entrapment hazards in order to protect children from needless accidents. Common strangulation hazards include:

  • Jackets with drawstrings
  • Sweatshirts with drawstrings
  • Curtains/blinds
  • Ribbons/string
  • Pacifier strings
  • Crib decorations
  • Defectively designed furniture
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Your Child Choking and Strangulation Injury Questions Answered

We have straight answers to difficult questions to help you make critical decisions, navigate legal process and help you get justice.

Following a child choking or strangulation injury, there are always more questions than answers. At Thomas J. Henry, we’re here to answer any questions you have about your injury case.

A child injury case may be brought when an individual under the age of 18 is injured due to the fault of another person or organization. Examples of a child injury case include car wreck or semi-truck accidents, dog bites, daycare or caretaker abuse/negligence, birth injuries, burns, choking, drowning, or any other personal injury. The most serious child injury cases involve permanent injury or death. A guardian, usually the child’s parent, is appointed by the court to bring a lawsuit (if necessary) on the child’s behalf.

The first and most important thing is obtaining proper medical care. Once the child’s injuries are being professionally addressed if there is a belief that the injury was the fault of someone else, or because of a defective product or unsafe condition of the property, an immediate investigation should begin. This is most often undertaken by skilled investigators and experts in consultation with skilled personal injury legal counsel. Often evidence that is crucial to proving fault for an injury can be easily and quickly lost. It is very important to preserve all possible evidence and to obtain photographs.

No. The laws have changed dramatically in recent years to protect child injury victims. Even in civil cases involving molestation, the identity of the child will be protected and the child will not be able to be cross-examined in the way the people sometimes see on TV and in the movies. The parent or guardian for the purpose of the litigation will be more involved in the lawsuit, and the child will usually be able to live their normal life without the lawsuit interfering in any significant way. In most instances, a case will settle outside of court and a lawsuit will not be necessary.

Private schools differ from public schools in that they do not receive immunity. For instance, if your child is seriously injured on the playground or on an off-campus field trip, parents may sue the private schools due to negligence and receive compensation for their child’s injuries.

Did you know that if your child is injured at a public school the school may not have to pay any damages for your child’s injuries? Public schools are protected in some situations by governmental immunity. If your child has been injured due to public school negligence, contact our offices. Our experienced child injury attorneys will help determine if your child has a case against the school.

In most cases, you won’t know whether your circumstances give rise to a valid medical malpractice claim until you have talked to an experienced birth injury lawyer. Doctors and medical facilities are governed by detailed professional standards of care during prenatal, delivery, and postnatal stages of pregnancy and birth. Anytime medical professionals fail to follow accepted procedures, injuries can result, and the doctors and hospital can be held accountable for medical malpractice.

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