In Boston, a nine month-old infant boy fell out of his apartment window from the fourth floor. The infant sustained fatal head trauma. The name of the deceased baby has not been released. The baby was pronounced dead after arrival to Boston Medical Center. He died on the morning of Thursday, September 18, 2008. The mother of the baby was out of town when the accident occurred. The father was with him at the time of the tragedy.  

According to Burns, et al, the seventh leading cause of death in infants includes accidental injuries. Accidents are responsible for approximately 67% of the external causes of infant death. Of injury-related deaths in infants, suffocation, motor vehicle accidents and drowning were the leading causes of death. With regard to infant death with all causes included, mortality rates have declined. According to Kliegman, there has been a decline in overall infant mortality rate since 1980. Estimated reduction in infant mortality rate is reported as high as 46% reduction since the early 1900’s. According to the National Center of Health Statistics, the most recent decline of 10% in infant mortality is from 1995 to present. According to the CDC database, presently the infant mortality rate is just under 7 for every 1,000 births including all causes of death. 

Falls: It is important to rule out intentional versus non-intentional injury in infants. The CDC statistics show that approximately 22 out of every 100,000 infants die from accidental causes. The version of events provided by parents or caregivers should accurately reflect the developmental level of the child. Falls do occur more commonly after an infant reaches four months of age, because an infant can roll over and fall from elevated surfaces.   

Prevention of falls: Falls may occur at any time, but become more common when the infant learns to roll over. It is important to never leave an infant unattended on an elevated surface that does not have rails along the sides to prevent falling.  When ever the infant is in a crib, keep side rails secured in the up position. If an infant is in an infant carrier, keep the infant strapped in the chair for safety. Place the infant seat on the floor or in a play pen.  If the infant is in high-chair, stroller, or carriage keep the infant restraint on the baby. Keep the floor free of obstacles, puddles and debris. Lock all windows. Do not leave windows with low window sills open while the infant explores the room. Polished floors and floor rugs may contribute to falls. Place baby gates across stairways or close doors when baby starts to explore.   


Christopher Keane
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California Child Abuse and Child Injury Lawyer
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