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Child Choking and Strangulation Injuries

Serving Clients Nationwide From Our Texas Offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Austin

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.

Childbirth injuries are not always obvious immediately afterward. Moms and dads will oftentimes notice certain things that are out of the ordinary once they take their newborn baby home – sometimes weeks or months later. In addition, some symptoms and signs of a birth injury aren’t apparent until much later.

Here are signs and symptoms of a childbirth injury:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Constipation
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision issues
  • Sinus inflammation
  • Low weight gain

Other physical symptoms of a birth injury in a child include:

  • Weak movement
  • Poor reflexes
  • Spasms
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Hands held in claw-like poses

Common conditions that can result from birth injuries include:

  • Cerebral Palsy and Erb’s Palsy
  • Nerve damage
  • Damage to the skull
  • Brain damage
  • Future learning disabilities
  • Delayed early development (crawling, walking, talking)

Birth injuries can be caused by many different factors. Common causes of childbirth injuries include:

  • Infection
  • Lack of oxygen
  • Neonatal sepsis
  • Preeclampsia
  • Dangerous medications
  • Traumatic delivery
  • Improper manipulation of the baby (potentially with tools including vacuums, forceps)
  • Failure to monitor baby’s vital signs

If childbirth injuries were preventable — for the mother or baby — the doctors, nurses, surgeons, and medical institution can be held accountable.

Injuries during childbirth can happen to anyone. However, some women find themselves in a high risk pregnancy. These situations require a higher level of attention and care on the part of the physician, and if high the high risk pregnancy symptoms and signs are not spotted or found in time, there could be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Women with prior health conditions, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Autoimmune disease (lupus, multiple sclerosis)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Obesity
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Teenagers
  • Women over 35 having their first child
  • Alcohol use during pregnancy
  • Smoking (and secondhand smoke)

Injuries to the mother that can occur during pregnancy include:

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Fissures
  • Infection
  • Preeclampsia or eclampsia
  • Vaginal tears or lacerations
  • Death

Mothers can also experience mental injuries as a result of a traumatic birth, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Private schools differ with 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.

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Representing injured victims from across the United States.

No matter the injury or the accident, if you or a loved one were harmed due to the negligence of an individual or company, Thomas J. Henry is here to assist you.

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