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Keane Law Firm

Keane Law Firm

Our Child Injury Blog

Our legal team regularly updates this blog for parents of children who have been injured. Visit our blog to get important information about the law, child safety information, and legal commentary.


11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Madison Township, Ohio, a five year-old child is dead after being backed over by the truck his grandfather, Brian R. Miller, was driving. The family was in the yard doing yard work at the time of this tragic accident. The accident occurred on the 3400 block of Poplar Street. EMS was called to the scene around 7:30 p.m. The five year-old was flown to Children’s Hospital. Despite advanced life support measures, the child passed away.   

Back-over injuries refer to injuries sustained by a child when a vehicle strikes or runs over a child while in reverse motion. A majority of victims are male. The younger the child, the more likely the child is to sustain injury to the head, face and neck. The older the child, the more likely the child is to sustain injury to the legs. The degree of severity level in internal injury and fracture statistically decreases with the increased age of the victim. Children that are pedestrians are at six time’s greater risk of being a victim in back-over accidents than children riding tricycles or bicycles. The majority of back-over accidents generally occur at home in a driveway. The locations with second highest risk for back-over accidents are parking lots. The CDC reports that fifty percent of child fatalities related to back-over accidents occurred at home in the driveway.



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Erie, Shadoni Steele passed away on January 31, 2008. Shadoni had been left in the care of Crystal Clayton, on the 800 block of Cascade Street, for a short while when she sustained life-threatening head injuries during this time. According to statements made in news stories, Ms. Clayton said she did not seek medical attention for the baby’s injuries because she was “high”. Shadoni was the daughter of Deawn Steele.  

There is no single factor identified as the cause of child abuse. In general, there is an interaction of multiple risk factors in the environment that place children at risk to be victims of abuse. Researchers have identified abusive parents or caregivers as having risk factors such as substance abuse, low self-esteem, mental or physical disability, depression, history of abuse as a child, poor coping skills, poor impulse control, history of violent behavior or history of being raised in a group setting with no positive parental role.

All children are potential victims of child abuse, but some factors increase the risk for a child to be abused. Children with disabilities are twice as likely to be emotionally, physically or sexually abused. Children with behavioral disorders that manifest as aggression or temper tantrums are at an increased risk to be abused. Males with mental disabilities tend to be victims of sexual assault at an older age then other children.      

 



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In New York, Adrian Thomas, of building 2441, Cedar Park Apartments located on 21st Street, has been a subject of child abuse investigations twice in the recent past. Now he is the suspect in the fatal attack on his son, Matthew Thomas, a 4 month-old baby boy. Matthew died on September 23, 2008 at Albany Medical Center Hospital. The investigation revealed that Matthew was thrown forcefully onto a bed by his father on more than one occasion in the past two weeks. Matthew was brought to the hospital on September 21, 2008 in critical condition. Child Protective Services has removed six other children from the home.  

In June 2007 and in 2008, within the past month, CPS was called and visited the home for complaints of potential child abuse. New stories report that Adrian Thomas had revealed to them information regarding marital discord between him and his wife. Allegedly, he admits being rough with the baby out of frustration.  

There is no single factor identified as the cause of child abuse. In general, there is an interaction of multiple risk factors in the environment that place children at risk to be victims of abuse. Researchers have identified abusive parents or caregivers as having risk factors such as substance abuse, low self-esteem, mental or physical disability, depression, history of abuse as a child, poor coping skills, poor impulse control, history of violent behavior or history of being raised in a group setting with no positive parental role.

All children are potential victims of child abuse, but some factors increase the risk for a child to be abused. Children with disabilities are twice as likely to be emotionally, physically or sexually abused. Children with behavioral disorders that manifest as aggression or temper tantrums are at an increased risk to be abused. Males with mental disabilities tend to be victims of sexual assault at an older age then other children.   

Feelings of stress and frustration are normal while caring for infants and children, however acting out in a harmful way towards the infant or child is not acceptable and is dangerous. The caregiver should focus on developing an abuse-prevention plan for dealing with feelings of stress and frustration that may emerge in the presence of the infant or the child. The abuse-prevention plan should include a cooling off period and developing an effective coping behavior that prevents physical abuse from occurring. It is best for families to be proactive and make an effort to provide a supportive environment for caregivers with children by assisting with childcare and allowing the caregiver respite. And the caregiver should not hesitate to ask family members and friends to assist with childrearing. It takes more than one person to care for an infant or raise a child. If you or someone you know has difficulty managing anger than utilizing community programs may be necessary if the family is not supportive. Please don’t hesitate to contact an organization in your community to assist you with childcare and respite issues. Please seek assistance if you feel overwhelmed by stress. If you know someone that has expressed frustration and is feeling overwhelmed, reach out and assist in any way that you can. Communication is essential to preventing child abuse. Remember approximately four million children are abused annually. Less than half of those cases get reported (http://rad.usuhs.mil:80/rad/home/peds/pedindex.html). Seeking assistance before an injury occurs is not a crime.   



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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Around 2:40 a.m. a deadly car crash occurred on Interstate 5 at Hood-Franklin Road near Elk Grove, as a wrong way driver caused a head-on collision. The wrong way driver was driving a BMW. An off-duty police officer witnessed the driver heading the wrong way and tried to flag him down. Shortly afterwards the BMW collided with a Toyota Camry. The cars broke out in flames. Cosumnes Fire Department arrived and put out the fire. The victims were extricated from the vehicles. The names of the survivors have not been released yet.  

Head-on collisions are not as likely to happen as other types of accidents. If someone is heading right towards you, veer off to your right. Because the other driver might try to correct back into his lane as he is approaching you. In this situation, you may get hit because you went to your left instead of your right. Also, if you veer to the right and hit something on the far right-side of the road, along the side of your vehicle, it is less likely to cause severe injury or death than a head-on collision. So if your choices are to continue head-on, versus hit something on the right side of the road, veer to the right. Hitting an immobile object on the side of the road at 45 mph will have less impact then getting into a head-on collision. If both drivers are traveling at 45 mph towards each other, the impact will be 90 mph. And if the vehicle coming towards you is a semi-truck, the sheer weight of the truck will make your survival practically impossible. Hit a sign along the side of the road, you will be more likely to survive. 

Experts recommend that children should not ride in the front seat until the age of 12. Airbags are hazardous for children under 12 years of age. Because they inflate in head-on collisions with rapid, high amounts of pressure which can deliver a significant blow to the head and face of a child, resulting in more injury. If your older child is sitting in the front seat, position the front passenger seat in the farthest position away from the dash board. An airbag can strike a child hard enough to cause brain or neck injury- even death. Some airbag systems can be turned off easily and should be off while a child is in the front seat.    



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In San Diego, there was a tragic accident on Otay Mesa Road, west of Highway 125. Two women were killed and five passengers were injured, including three children, ages 2, 6 and 11. San Diego Police Sgt. Raphael Cimmarrusti says the children were airlifted from the collision scene and the other two adults were transported by ambulance. The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.   

According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 2 – 14 years of age is motor vehicle accidents (http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810803.PDF). Motor vehicle accidents are also the leading cause of acquired disability in children. Children make up approximately 5% of the accident fatalities. Approximately 6 children are killed and 700 children are injured every day in car crashes. Nearly 21% of children that are killed in car accidents die from drivers that are operating vehicles while over the legal blood alcohol level. And nearly half the deceased children that are killed by drunk drivers were intoxicated passengers at the time of the accidents (http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/childpas.htm & http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5304a2.htm & http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/2002chdfacts.pdf 

Studies support that unrestrained child passengers sustain more serious injury then restrained child passengers. Unrestrained child passengers tend to sustain injury to the head, neck, face, chest and extremities with complex injury patterns. Improperly restrained child passengers, especially the 4 – 9 year old group, tend to sustain abdominal and extremity injuries, including ruptured stomach, lacerated or ruptured spleen and ruptured or contusion of the bowels (American Journal of Public Health, “Morbidity among Pediatric Motor Vehicle Crash Victims: The Effectiveness of Seat Belts; Osberg, J.S. & Di Scala, C., Volume 82, No. 3, March 1992).

 



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Branch County, MI, on September 27, 2008 around 12:14 a.m. Saturday a fatal car accident occurred, leaving one man dead and a child seriously injured. It happened on Clarendon Road near Herrickville Road. When police arrived two vehicles were in a ditch. One vehicle was burning with the driver trapped inside. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A child passenger was airlifted to a major medical center. The driver of the second car did not sustain injuries from the crash but was burned trying to rescue the other driver. Police report that alcohol is a factor in this fatal crash and the names of the victims have not been released.  

According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 2 – 14 years of age is motor vehicle accidents (http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810803.PDF). Motor vehicle accidents are also the leading cause of acquired disability in children. Children make up approximately 5% of the accident fatalities. Approximately 6 children are killed and 700 children are injured every day in car crashes. Nearly 21% of children that are killed in car accidents die from drivers that are operating vehicles while over the legal blood alcohol level. And nearly half the deceased children that are killed by drunk drivers were intoxicated passengers at the time of the accidents (http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/childpas.htm & http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5304a2.htm & http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/2002chdfacts.pdf).  



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Alamo, Tennessee, the Heavenly Angels Daycare is under investigation following the death of a 10-month-old infant. The infant was found unresponsive. The name of the deceased infant has not been released to the press. The investigation has not resulted charges being filed pending the autopsy to determine the cause of death. Prior to the infant’s death, allegedly the Heavenly Angels Daycare was on probation for violation of state daycare staffing guidelines. Presently the daycare is closed pending the results of the investigation. 

What should you look for in a good child day care center? 

1)       Keep in mind your child’s needs vary according to his or her age and level of development.  

2)       What is the ratio of caregivers to children? How are responsibilities of the caregivers divided up or assigned?  

3)       Does the child care center adhere to regulatory guidelines regarding staffing and building safety as set forth by the state or county?   

4)       Is the day care licensed, and by what regulatory body in the state or county?  

5)       Are annual physical exams and proof of childhood immunizations required? 

6)       Is there a file for each child that contains important contact, pick-up and health information? 

7)       Naturally, you will want an opportunity to interview the childcare giver(s). Ask questions about educational background, length of employment and feelings about the facility. Inquire of whether or not background checks and drug screens are done as a requirement of employment at the child care center. Also, what kind of annual education is required of the staff? 

8)       You will want to visit the child care center while the children are there and active.  

9)       Also you will want to see what provisions are available for nap time.  

10)   You should inquire about their emergency medical/fire/disaster plans. Of note, the leading cause of fires in day care centers is cooking, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.  

11)   Where is the first aid kit stored?  And what is in the first aid kit? Are OSHA standards observed? Is there a phone number for Poison control?  

12)   How are illness, prescription and OTC medications managed? Does the daycare have accident and illness report forms? Is there a policy and procedure for managing individual injuries? Do child care givers wash their hands between sick and well children to reduce the spread of infections? 

13)   Ask to see the kitchen and nutritional inventory. You will observe for cleanliness and the variety of food choices.  Inquire as to where the children eat and how the food is served. Ask to see a menu. 

14)   Assess the building structure as you arrive to the building. As you enter the building, assess for structural integrity and the quality of maintenance. Are fire inspections for this building required? 

15)   Is there fencing around the outdoor play area? What activity is going on around the day care building? 

16)   What child safety features are in place? Are the smoke alarms in working order? How about carbon monoxide detectors?  

17)   What type of activity schedule is in place, do the children play outside also? 

18)    Are family needs respected and valued by the childcare center? 

19)   Does the facility provide a policy and procedure booklet? 

20)   Do you have reliable referrals that recommend the child care center?  

21)   How are disciplinary measures implemented? How is conflict managed? 

22)   How are toileting issues handled? Is hand washing emphasized? 

23)   What toys are available, how are they cleaned and are they age appropriate? 

24)   What stories, books and music are available for the kids? 

25)   And finally, how does your child respond to being left at the day care? When you pick your child up, is he/she happy or irritable?

 

 

 



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Texas, Kimberly Robinson, 38 year-old grandmother to Taliyah Banks, was killed while walking with her granddaughter, Taliyah, on the 3900 block of Overton Road in Dallas. Witnesses report that Ellis Haywood, 54 year-old, drove up onto the sidewalk and hit Ms. Robinson and young Taliyah as they were walking. Witnesses were instrumental in making sure Mr. Haywood did not leave the scene of the accident before police arrived.  The tragic accident involving Ms. Robinson and Taliyah Banks occurred on Saturday, October 4, 2008 around 7:30 pm.  

Do not drive impaired. Alcohol, drugs, fatigue, medication, and extreme anxiety are some examples of conditions that impair drivers. You don’t want to injure someone or inflict the worst grief a family can experience-by killing someone, just because you didn’t adjust your social life, wait to drive, get someone else to drive for you or just avoid alcohol before driving. 

   



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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Sadly, Kellan McCarty died from the injuries he sustained while being improperly restrained in a child safety seat in the backseat of a sports utility vehicle. He was taken by life-flight from the accident scene to Memorial Health University Medical Center. He was pronounced dead on the evening of Wednesday, October 8, 2008. The driver, Jade Nicole Lee was uninjured from the accident. She was driving a 2006 Chevy sport utility vehicle at 7:44 a.m., when her vehicle veered from the lane she was in. The investigation reveals she over-corrected and ran off the other side of the road into a ditch and hit a tree.  

Children and infants may suffer head injuries from impacts as low as 4 mph if unrestrained, depending on what type of surface the passenger’s head hits.



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Utah, James Ryan Hadlock pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor child abuse. He will spend the remainder of 100 days in jail for causing his foster son to suffer a severe brain injury by throwing him up in the air and letting him fall approximately nine feet onto the floor. The infant boy was one years old at the time of the brain injury. Physicians found evidence of past trauma at the time of the head injury. The boy is now three-years old and suffers from developmental delays.  

If a caregiver throws or forcefully places an infant on a surface after shaking the baby for a few seconds, there may be evidence of blunt trauma from sudden deceleration and impact of the head against a surface. If the child survives the injuries, the symptoms may change over the course of several years from the assault. As the child grows and develops to the ages where higher functioning skills are expected, the true measure of the disabilities the child experiences will become evident. Despite careful management of severe brain injury, the road to recovery may be difficult with no possibility of returning to the child’s pre-injury neurological state or normal function.     

Not all caregivers are ethical or emotionally well adjusted. Not all caregivers care for infants and children in an appropriate manner. In foster care homes, the very homes that are suppose to protect abused children, intentional, or non-intentional, abusive activity may be taking place. Adults with the following risk factors are more likely to abuse their infants and children and cause injury; poor coping skills, unrealistic expectations, substance abuse, former victims of child abuse, mental health problems, social isolation, socio-economically depressed, impoverished and families that suffer with domestic violence issues. Non-biological parents are at increased risk for committing abusive acts.



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Wisconsin, Michael Stoner, 27, faced Judge Scott Needham for sentencing in the child abuse case of Emma Manning. The beating that 2-year-old Emma Manning endured caused her to be blind and unable to eat, walk, talk or sit up independently. The mother of the disabled child was sitting in court with Michael Stoner’s parents and spoke out in court in support of Mr. Stoner. She did not sit with her parents who are caring for her disabled child. Judge Needham described Mr. Stoner as an “angry, frustrated and dangerous young man”.  In addition to his prison sentence, Stoner has been ordered to pay restitution for Emma’s medical bills that are nearly $400,000.00.  

Approximately 80% of abusers never admit their crime.

 



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Grand Rapids, MI, Kobi Crowder continues his struggle to heal from his Shaken Baby injuries. Allegedly his father, Scott Crowder, 21, critically injured Kobi when he shook him. Kobi struggled against all odds to survive the beating he took. His brain swelled and doctors were not sure he would survive. Scott Crowder faces first degree child abuse charges.  

Many women abuse their children, but men inflict more serious injury when they abuse. Infants with brain injuries have a higher mortality rate than older children that are abused. A majority of abusers never admit they abused their victims.      



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Great Falls, William Arthur Bloyd, 26 years-old, admitted to investigators that he shook his 6 week old son because he wouldn’t stop crying. Mr. Bloyd admits becoming frustrated with the infant while the mother was at work. An emergency room physician diagnosed the infant boy’s severe head injuries.  

Researchers have identified abusive parents or caregivers as having risk factors such as substance abuse, low self-esteem, mental or physical disability, depression, history of abuse as a child, poor coping skills, poor impulse control, history of violent behavior or history of being raised in a group setting with no positive parental role.

All children are potential victims of child abuse, but some factors increase the risk for a child to be abused. 

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is an injurious condition caused by the shaking of an infant or child.  The action of rapidly shaking an infant or child causes the sudden forward, backward and sideway motion of the head. During the shaking action the brain is injured from hitting against the inside of the bony skull, causing inflammation, bleeding, separation of vessels and nerve fibers in the soft brain tissue on all sides of the brain. The brain of an infant or child is very soft because it has more water content and it is easier to injure than an adult brain. Therefore, less energy is required to cause lethal injury to an infant or child’s brain.  In SBS, the eyes may get injured by the sudden increase in pressure and motion around the soft tissues that make up the delicate structure of the eyes. After the shaking, the brain and the eyes bleed inside the confined spaces they are contained in.  This bleeding causes high pressure to build within the head and eyes. The damage caused by shaking the head, brain and eye structures and the increasing high pressure that follows causes permanent injury or death for the infant or child. If death does not occur the infant or child may be left with permanent brain damage, blindness, neuromuscular disability, paralysis, deafness, learning disabilities and/or a seizure disorder.

 



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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Healthy Families provides parent information about the dangers of shaking an infant or child. The organization provides demonstrations with the use of dolls that have special mechanisms in the head to illustrate the dangers and injury patterns associated with shaking an infant. Healthy Families have resource staff that provide support for parents and help develop personal plans for coping with frustrations that parents encounter while raising infants and children. Coping strategies are discussed to deal with babies and children when they cry, have difficulty with toilet training, and demonstrate cranky behavior during illness and wellness. The teaching also includes recognition of signs and symptoms of shaken baby syndrome and how to help if abuse is identified in others.  

Please visit the Keane Law Firm library for more information.



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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NEWS from CPSC

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public Affairs

Washington, DC 20207


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2008
Release #09-015

Firm's Contact: (718) 797-0302
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Infant Death Prompts Recall of Convertible Cribs by Playkids USA; Crib Poses Entrapment and Suffocation Hazards

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Playkids U.S.A. of Brooklyn, N.Y. is announcing today a voluntary recall of about 2,000 convertible cribs. The sides of the convertible crib are made of a mesh that expands, creating a gap between the mattress and the side through which an infant can slip. This poses suffocation and entrapment hazards for young children.

CPSC is aware of the death of a 5-month-old child on August 31, 2008 in Brooklyn, N.Y. The child became entrapped between the mattress and the stationary side rail of the convertible crib and suffocated.

This recall involves the Playkids U.S.A. convertible crib/playpen/bassinet/bed with model number PLK-909. “Playkids U.S.A.” can be found on the packaging and on a label sewn into the side of the crib. The model number can be found on the packaging. The convertible cribs have a drop side rail, a stationary side rail, a canopy assembly, and a bassinet. The sides of the convertible crib, the mattress support, the bassinet, the canopy and the bedskirt are covered in fabric and mesh. The fabric and the mesh come in a variety of colors and patterns.

The convertible cribs, which were made in China, were sold in juvenile product retailers in New York from March 2007 through September 2008 for about $100.

Consumers should stop using the recalled convertible cribs immediately and contact Playkids USA to receive a full refund.

For additional information, consumers should contact Playkids USA collect at (718) 797-0302 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

Send the link for this page to a friend! The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $800 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC's Web site at www.cpsc.gov.

 



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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Family and friends of the Kirstian Blockinger are mourning the loss of their baby loved-one. She died while riding in a medical helicopter. The helicopter was en route to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago on October 15, just before midnight.  

The investigation so far reveals that a radio tower wire was involved.  The helicopter was a Bell 222 run by Air Angels, Inc.  

News stories report this is the second crash in five years for this company. There have been a total of six fatal medical helicopter crashes this year.



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Dallas, Dallas Police have announced a change in departmental policy about responding to Code 3 police calls. This departmental policy change comes at the heels of a tragic accident involving the death of ten-year-old Cole Berardi. Cole was riding his bike across the street by his house when he was struck by a police cruiser that was responding to a Code 3 police call. The accident occurred at the 2600 block of Belt Line Road shortly before 8:00 pm.  

The Keane Law Firm joins the community in offering their condolences to the family and friends of Cole Berardi.  



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Dallas, Brett Inman, father of Cole Bernadi, spoke at a news conference on October 24, 2008. According to news stories, Mr. Inman said he doesn’t understand why the Dallas Police Department decided to release the October 17, 2008 dash cam video clip of his son getting hit and killed by a police cruiser before first showing the video to the family. The cruiser was traveling at a high-rate of speed down a dark single-lane road and did not have lights and sirens on at the time of the accident. Mr. Inman felt that releasing the video to the public before showing the family could have been handled better and with more respect for the family’s grief.      

Approximately 25% of our drive time is in the dark on average.  But 50% of the fatal accidents occur at night. Most pedestrian and cyclist fatalities occur between the hours of 4 pm and 8 pm.



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Grantsville, Jacob Wayman, a 3-year-old boy, died after falling in a hole and suffocating. The investigation reveals that he fell headfirst from a pile of dirt into a hole that collapsed on him. He suffocated as a result. EMS was called and he was taken to Primary Children’s Medical Center. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.  He was under the care of a baby sitter when the accident happened. 

Because of a toddlers’ lack of judgment, they are at high risk for injury. Their limited coordination, increased curiosity and toddler-problem solving abilities, they will get injured with a lack of supervision. Toddlers will fall down stairs, climb onto furniture and climb through open windows. Males tend to get injured more, but the overall incidence of injury peaks in this age group. The major cause of injury is related to environmental factors, such as hazardous structures, drowning and pools of water, burns and overly heated water, cooking and open flames, motor vehicles and inappropriate use of restraints, and inappropriate storage of household poisons. 

The Keane Law Firm joins the community, family and friends of Jacob Wayman and his family in offering condolences for their tragic loss.



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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Playkids, U.S.A. convertible cribs have been recalled. There are two thousand of the cribs according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  

The convertible crib has mesh sides that expand and create a gap large enough for the baby to become entrapped in. 



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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On August 24, 2007, Shannon L. Baierl was driving while intoxicated. Her blood alcohol level was 0.27%, more than three times the Wisconsin legal limit of 0.08. Allegedly, she crossed over the centerline while driving southbound and continued heading south on northbound Highway 175. The car she was driving collided with another vehicle, a Chrysler LaBaron. The passengers of the LaBaron were severely injured. The driver, 21 year-old, Antonio Zarate was severely injured. Anahi Garcio and Crecensio Peres were also injured. The littlest passenger, 7 month-old Karen Garcia sustained mortal injuries and died two days later at Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee. Ms. Baierl has pleaded no contest to homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.    

Approximately 6 children are killed and 700 children are injured every day in car crashes. Nearly 21% of children that are killed in car accidents die from drivers that are operating vehicles while over the legal blood alcohol level. (http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/childpas.htm & http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5304a2.htm & http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/2002chdfacts.pdf).   



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Oklahoma, Molli R. Allison was a passenger in Aaron T. Allision’s vehicle. They were driving together early Friday morning when they became involved in a serious car accident. Molli had to be extricated from the car by firefighters. She had serious head and internal injuries. Emergency personnel transferred her to Pauls Valley General Hospital where she died from her injuries. Aaron Allision was treated for his injuries and released from the hospital. Lester Mahoney, the driver of the other vehicle, was admitted to Norman Regional Hospital that day.  

According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 2 – 14 years of age is motor vehicle accidents (http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810803.PDF). Motor vehicle accidents are also the leading cause of acquired disability in children. Children make up approximately 5% of the accident fatalities. Approximately 6 children are killed and 700 children are injured every day in car crashes. Children living in rural counties are more likely to die in auto injuries than children living in urban areas. Details outlining what happened in this case have not been provided, but in general inexperienced teens driving at excessive speed as unrestrained drivers and passengers on single-lane roads are at the greatest risk for death or serious injury.  A majority of car crashes occur within approximately 25 miles from home.



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Pierce County, on July 13, 2004, a two-year-old boy went outside, crossed the street, walked through a backyard and drowned in Lake Tapps. He was found drowned a couple hours later. The family sued the state, employees of the daycare and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) for gross negligence.  After a three week trial, and two hours of deliberation, the jury awarded the family, the Estate of Gabriel Tobin, and the attorney, 11.7M dollars. The plaintiff argued that the day care should not have been licensed if it didn’t have a fence to prevent children from accessing the lake. Furthermore, the DSHS rules require a fence and the agency’s inspectors issued the facility a license on two occasions despite the absence of a fence.   

On the day of the tragedy, allegedly Lisa Fish was tending to an altercation between some of the children when Gabriel left through the daycare doors. According to news stories, the jurors held the state responsible for 81% of the judgment and the Fish family responsible for 19%.  

Supervision is a key factor in the prevention of injury. The environment should be child-proofed. As children grow from infancy through toddlerhood, parents should evaluate the environment for safety as the child develops new skills. Children should play in fenced areas with the supervision of adults. Toddlers should never be left unattended.  Lock doors and windows so children cannot go through them. And use safety gates to prevent falls down stairways and prevent unsupervised climbing up the stairs.   

Toddlers are at the highest risk of drowning across the lifespan. They do not have the developmental ability to swim, nor can they keep their heads above water, or know how to get out of water. Young children can drown in very shallow water, including pails of liquid, toilets, bathtubs and baby pools. Drowning is the second leading cause of deaths related to injuries after motor vehicle accidents. According to the CDC, children between the ages of one and four years of age are more likely to drown in swimming pools and hot tubs. Mortality rates secondary to drowning are three times higher for males. Approximately 78% of drowning victims are male. Unlike adults, young children do not call out for help while in distress, they generally drown silently. Near-drowning accidents can result in permanent brain damage. For every child that drowns there are approximately five near-drowning episodes in children. Drowning is the second highest cause of injury-related deaths in children between the ages of one and nine years old.    

Never leave infants or toddlers unsupervised by water. Empty the shallow wading pools and water basins when not in use or under the direct supervision of a responsible adult. Keep lids closed on toilets. Don’t leave your infant by containers of water to answer the phone or get the door. Remember bath seats are not intended to be used as water safety devices. Your infant should not be left in a bath seat without adult supervision. The absence of adult supervision is a prominent feature in the incidence of infant drowning. Leaving infants in bathtubs to be supervised by siblings does not constitute adequate supervision. In fact, there are known cases where siblings placed infants in bathtubs to play, or played rough with infants due to lack of supervision around bath tub water, the infants drowned as a result. Primary providers are responsible for teaching water safety and drowning prevention tips to new parents.  And child caregivers are responsible for supervision during water recreation and bath time. Flotation devices are not safety devices.      

 

 

 



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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Two months ago, Nicholas was vomiting. At the time, he was diagnosed and treated for acid reflux. As a result, Nicholas and his brother were taken to the daycare repeatedly and left in the hands of their abuser. On September 19, 2008 at approximately noon, Nicholas’s parents received a call that he was non-responsive while at daycare. He was taken emergently to Porter Hospital and then transferred to University of Chicago Hospital. When child abuse was identified in Nicholas, his parents asked the providers to evaluate Nicholas’s twin brother. At the time, the twin brother was found to have a small head injury also. Porter County Sheriffs Department is conducting the investigation into the homicide. So far the perpetrator has not been identified.   

Different forms of child abuse may happen to infants. One common form of child abuse found in infants is Shaken Baby Syndrome. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is an injurious condition caused by the shaking of an infant or child.  The action of rapidly shaking an infant or child causes the sudden forward, backward and sideway motion of the head. During the shaking action the brain is injured from hitting against the inside of the bony skull, causing inflammation, bleeding, separation of vessels and nerve fibers in the soft brain tissue on all sides of the brain. The brain of an infant or child is very soft because it has more water content and it is easier to injure than an adult brain. Therefore, less energy is required to cause lethal injury to an infant or child’s brain.  In SBS, the eyes may get injured by the sudden increase in pressure and motion around the soft tissues that make up the delicate structure of the eyes. After the shaking, the brain and the eyes bleed inside the confined spaces they are contained in.  This bleeding causes high pressure to build within the head and eyes. The damage caused by shaking the head, brain and eye structures and the increasing high pressure that follows causes permanent injury or death for the infant or child. If death does not occur the infant or child may be left with permanent brain damage, blindness, neuromuscular disability, paralysis, deafness, learning disabilities and/or a seizure disorder. According to the CDC, 1,490 children died from abuse and neglect in the Unites States for the year 2004. This number decreased in 2005 to 1,460 deaths. Greater than 75% of these deaths occurred in children under four years of age. A total of 872,000 children were reportedly abused in that same time frame. In 2005, child protective services investigated 3.6 million cases of reported child abuse complaints, which resulted in discovery of 899,000 cases of child abuse. Higher rates of abuse occur in the African-American population at 1,950 per 100,000 children. Girls are at a higher risk to be victims of maltreatment than boys. Mothers have demonstrated a more frequency tendency to abuse and are generally younger in age than male adult abusers. However male adult abusers inflict more severe abuse outcomes.   

 

 



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,

11/17/2008
Christopher Keane
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In Missouri, Sweet Cherry Anne Halliburton is held in Jackson County Jail on charges of first-degree assault related to the 2008 death of her six-week old infant boy name Loyal.  Two other investigations, by Fort Worth and South Dakota police, are underway to investigate the causes of the 2007 death of her 4-month-old son named Eiam and the 2006 death of her 7-month-old daughter named Krystal. Investigators from South Dakota and Texas are in Missouri investigating the deaths of the three infants.   

Experts have identified abusive parents or caregivers as having risk factors such as substance abuse, low self-esteem, mental or physical disability, depression, history of abuse as a child, poor coping skills, poor impulse control, history of violent behavior or history of being raised in a group setting with no positive parental role.

 



Category: Keyword Search: accidental,