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New study: Stunning rise in children's injuries involving high chairs

Learn more about a dangerous new trend that could affect the safety of young children.
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    December 14, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- New study: Stunning rise in children's injuries involving high chairs

The annual number of car accident deaths has fallen to historic lows in recent years; in many ways, the United States is becoming a safer place to live.

Yet, many accidental injuries and deaths still occur, and not all aspects of life are becoming less dangerous. In a study published on Dec. 9, 2013 in the medical journal Clinical Pediatrics, a troubling new trend is putting some of the most vulnerable members of our society at risk for suffering serious injury.

Closed head injury most common high chair injury

High chairs are in use by millions of American families to serve young children at mealtime. According to the new research, nearly 9,500 high chair related injuries are treated in emergency rooms across the country every year. This means that on average, one child suffers an injury severe enough to warrant treatment in an emergency department every hour because of a high chair. Most of these children are less than one year old.

The director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Dr. Gary Smith, co-authored the study. "Most of the injuries we're talking about, over 90 percent, involve falls with young toddlers whose center of gravity is high, near their chest, rather than near the waist as it is with adults," Dr. Smith told HealthDay. "So when they fall they topple, which means that 85 percent of the injuries we see are to the head and face."

The study period, from 2003 to 2010, saw an overall increase of 22 percent in the number of high chair related injuries. The most common specific injury type was closed head injury, observed in 37 percent of the cases. The number of closed head injuries related to high chair use skyrocketed from 2,558 in 2003 to 4,789 in 2010.

Contact a product liability lawyer if your child was injured by a defective high chair

Researchers speculated about some possible factors for the high chair injury trend. One of the possible reasons is the use of faulty high chairs.

Over the seven years of the study period, 3.5 million high chairs were recalled for safety concerns that only became apparent after they were on the market. Yet, many parents are not made fully aware of recalls, and only 10 to 20 percent of recalled high chairs are returned. Furthermore, unsafe high chairs are clearly a widespread problem, and many kids can get hurt when a high chair has faulty safety features before a recall is initiated.

If you find out that a high chair you've been using is the subject of a recall, or if you notice that your high chair's safety straps or other safety features are not working correctly, discontinue use of the chair immediately. But if it is too late to prevent an injury, you may have to turn to after the fact legal remedies.

If your child's injury was the result of a product defect, whether a defect in manufacturing, design or providing proper warning of the hazards of the product, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer or distributor of the high chair. A lawsuit against the maker of an unsafe high chair can not only help you collect the monetary damages you need to address your child's injury, it also sends a powerful message to manufacturers to focus more on safety. Talk to a product liability lawyer today to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve and to promote safety for other children in the future.

Article provided by The Maurer Law Firm, PLLC
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