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Child Safety Attorney Raleigh

Playground Safety

Playgrounds are an essential part of every child’s life, and children spend quite a bit of time on them. For this reason, children should be safe when playing on a playground. However, the playground environment houses many potential safety hazards. The equipment, surfaces, and structure of the playground could all lead to potential injuries.

Who should be held accountable for the injuries your child sustained while on a playground? Depending on the nature of your child’s injury, many different people could be liable for the harm caused. Some of these include:

  • The owner of the property
  • The playground manufacturer
  • Contractors who set up the playground
  • Contractors who maintain the playground
  • Those responsible for supervising your child

Close supervision can create an enjoyable experience on the playground and at the same time assist in preventing injuries. Inspecting the area, surfaces and equipment on which your child is playing can help keep your child safe. You should also make sure that your child is using and playing on equipment that is appropriate for his or her age, and always keep a close watch on your child while they are playing. Dangerous situations can be avoided by making sure your child is playing and behaving properly on the playground. For more playground safety tips refer to the CPSC playground safety checklist below:

  • Make sure surfaces around playground equipment have at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel, or are mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.
  • Check that protective surfacing extends at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, be sure surfacing extends, in back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar.
  • Make sure play structures more than 30 inches high are spaced at least 9 feet apart.
  • Check for dangerous hardware, like open “S” hooks or protruding bolt ends.
  • Make sure spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs, measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
  • Check for sharp points or edges in equipment.
  • Look out for tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, and rocks.
  • Make sure elevated surfaces, like platforms and ramps, have guardrails to prevent falls.
  • Check playgrounds regularly to see that equipment and surfacing are in good condition.
  • Carefully supervise children on playgrounds to make sure they’re safe.

Playgrounds should be a place where your children can have fun, but precautions and preventive measures should always be taken in order to protect your child from injuries. Not all injuries on the playground are preventable, since some are due to the negligence of another. A child should not be injured due to the carelessness of an owner, manufacturer or anyone else.

If your child has been injured on a playground due to another’s negligence, contact a Child Safety Attorney at the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919-233-0520.


Swimming Accidents

Pools can be an excellent way to relax and get some relief from the hot sun during the summer. While pools can provide enjoyment, there are some risks involved with them. Pools can house many safety hazards, especially for children. It is important to be informed and keep children informed about the potential dangers involving a pool.

Serious injuries could result from swimming pool accidents. Some of these include:

  • Head injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Fractures to limbs
  • Brain damage
  • Spinal cord injuries

Due to the seriousness of these injuries, it is imperative that safety precautions be taken while at the pool. Unfortunately, these injuries could occur due to the negligence of another party. The property owner may not have safely secured the pool or fail in properly maintaining the pool. The pool manufacturers may have built an unsafe pool that could have defective or dangerous parts. The adults in charge of supervising your children in the pool may not be doing an adequate job.

If your child has been injured or drowned in a pool due to the negligence of someone else, contact a Child Safety Attorney at the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919-233-0520.

In order to help prevent any swimming or drowning accidents, make sure you are taking safety measures while you and your children are at the pool. The following is a list of pool safety tips from the American Association of Pediatrics:

  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.
  • Make sure adults are trained in life-saving techniques and CPR so they can rescue a child if necessary.
  • Surround your pool on all four sides with a sturdy five-foot fence.
  • Make sure the gates self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach.
  • Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd’s hook – a long pole with a hook on the end – and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool.
  • Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.
  • Children are not developmentally ready for swim lessons until after their fourth birthday.
  • Swim programs for children under 4 should not be seen as a way to decrease the risk of drowning.
  • Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”

Pools are a place for fun and relaxation for both you and your children. However, as a parent, it is important to always keep in mind the dangers associated with being around and swimming in a pool. Serious injuries could result from swimming accidents, and if your child has sustained an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you need legal representation.

Have you or your child faced injuries due to a swimming accident or drowning incident? Contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood today at 919-233-0520.


Babysitters

Babysitters can be a great help to parents during the workday or when they need to get away from home. However, as a parent, employing a babysitter can be somewhat of a nerve-wracking matter. You trust your children and their safety to another person when hiring a babysitter. You expect that your babysitter will care and look after your child just as you would. Therefore, hiring a babysitter is not an issue to be taken lightly.

Since your child’s safety lies in another person’s hands, it is important that you are careful when hiring a babysitter. Make sure that your babysitter is capable and reliable when it comes to taking care of your children. The following is a list of helpful tips to follow from the United States Department of Education when employing a babysitter:

  • Ask for names and phone numbers of people who have hired the babysitter before. Call these people and ask what they liked and didn’t like about this sitter.
  • Interview the babysitter. Look for someone who is trustworthy, capable and comfortable with babies.
  • Have a trial run. Have the sitter care for your baby while you are at home. You can watch the sitter with your baby.
  • Describe your routines. Give the sitter information on your baby’s habits and preferences for eating, diapering, playing, and sleeping.
  • Give clear instructions. Make sure the sitter knows how to deal with emergencies.
  • Tell the sitter how you can be reached. Give the sitter the name and phone number of a friend or relative to call if you can’t be reached.
  • Write down the phone number of the baby’s doctor.
  • Give a tour of your house. Let the sitter know about anything unusual.
  • Let the sitter know when you’ll be home. Call if you will be late.
  • Make sure the babysitter understands all your safety rules for your baby.

No matter how cautious you may be when finally hiring a babysitter for your children, sometimes a babysitter might not provide perfect care and attention to your child. A small lapse in attention to your child could result in serious injuries. While this is an unfortunate situation since you expect your babysitter to keep your child safe, your babysitter could be held responsible for injuries your child may sustain while under his or her supervision.If your child has faced serious injuries due to the negligence of a babysitter, contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood today at 919-233-0520.


Toy Safety and Child Injuries

Not all toys are safe for children. Unfortunately, unsuspecting parents sometimes allow both their children and their children’s friends to handle unsafe products with no knowledge of the danger these toys may be hiding.

In recent years, the manufacture of many products, from toy cars to transistor radios, has been outsourced to foreign countries and sold to parents with an implicit promise that the toys are safe for use by children. The quality assurance process in many of these manufacturing plants have exposed our children to deadly chemicals, lead paint, fire hazards, choking hazards and more.

If your child has been injured by a defective toy, the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood can assist you in determining whether that injury was the result of defective manufacturing or design process. Call a toy safety attorney at our firm for a free initial consultation today at 919-233-0520.

We have represented many families dealing with tragedies caused by defective toy design or manufacturing process. Some of the matters we’ve handled include:

  • Choking hazards from defectively designed toy building.
  • Lead paint exposure from toys.
  • Deceptively marketed ride-on toys.
  • Crib structural instability and collapse.
  • Booster seat instability and fall hazard.
  • Defective battery design causing fire hazard.

Incidents like these have led to the recall of many everyday toys that have inflicted serious injuries upon children. In July of 2007, Hasboro Inc. recalled about 1 million Easy Bake ovens after receiving 249 complaints of children getting their hands or fingers caught in the ovens and 77 burn reports. One burn was so serious that it required a partial finger amputation. Additionally, Fisher Price recalled 967,000 plastic toys in August of 2007 because they contained an excessive amount of lead paint. The recall led to heightened concern for toys made in China since a Chinese vendor had applied the lead paint to the toys.

As a concerned parent, there are certain safety measures you can take when purchasing toys for your children. Here are some things you can do when buying a new toy:

  • Read all warning labels
  • Make sure the toy is appropriate for your child’s age
  • Check for sharp edges and points
  • Make sure the toy does not have loud noises
  • Avoid buying toys with small parts
  • Make sure the toy has not been recalled

If your child, or the child of a loved one, has been injured because of an unsafe toy, call a Toy Safety Lawyer at the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood for a free initial consultation at 919-233-0520.

Lawyer Cary Hardison Wood