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Safety Considerations for Chicago Parents at the Start of the School Year

Thousands of children are vulnerable to injury in connection with conditions at school or extracurricular activities. Chicago children may sustain injury or even be killed while playing sports, on playgrounds, or scootering or biking or walking to and from their schools. Now there are additional risks kids face because of COVID-19 and its variants. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently asked parents across the country to “Think Safety First” in recognition of issues that could come up in connection as children return to school.

Safety Considerations

One of the CPSC’s critical safety tips was to urge your child not to text or talk on the phone while walking. Drivers do not always consider the presence of children even on residential neighborhood streets during the hours that children go to and from school. There were 4600 ER injuries related to walking while distracted on the phone from 2019-2020.

Another important safety consideration is your child’s safety helmet. A safety helmet should be worn in connection with riding a scooter, skateboarding or biking to school. The CPSC release specified there were 144,100 bicycle injuries treated in the ER from 2017-2019 to children under age 16. It is necessary when playing football. Use of a safety helmet can prevent serious brain injuries under certain circumstances. You should check and make sure your child’s safety helmet is adequate and up to safety standards. Tragically, some recalls only occur after a child is catastrophically injured. When that is the case, it may be appropriate to pursue damages in a product liability lawsuit.

There are also other dangers of which parents may not be much less aware. For example, clothing with drawstrings and necklaces should be left at home to keep strangulation hazards down. Playgrounds at school or away from it should have good impact surfacing. These may be made of rubber mats, mulch or wood chips. Since 2014, CPSC has investigated 43 kids’ deaths related to playground equipment. There have been more than 206,700 injuries to children under age 16 each year.

Other safety tips that Chicago parents should consider involved backpacks, properly anchored goalposts, and precautions during experiments using flames and fuel. Children are susceptible to many different dangers as they return to school. An unexpected hazard can result in serious injuries or even wrongful death. It’s not always easy to see what injuries a child suffers were preventable, especially when the injuries or deaths occurred on the way to or from school, or while on school grounds or at an after-school activity.

Liability

Product liability lawsuits may be pursued under a theory of strict liability, negligence or breach of warranty, depending on what is appropriate under a particular state’s laws and federal law. Strict liability can be a helpful theory because it doesn’t require our Chicago-based attorneys to show that a manufacturer breached the duty of care. Defects that are actionable may involve manufacturing, design or marketing.

Structured Settlement

In many instances, it is appropriate to negotiate a structured settlement. Under Illinois law, this is an arrangement for damages to be paid in periodic installments when there have been personal injuries or illnesses established by settlement or judgment in personal injury or product liability claims. This allows a Chicago child to receive damages in installments in a trust or other legal vehicle that ensures there will be funds available for his or her future care.

Call Our Trial Lawyers

You should consult a seasoned personal injury and product liability attorney who can look at the situation and figure out which parties should be held accountable. In some instances, there are multiple people or entities who may be responsible. If your child was harmed by defective products aimed at kids, you should call the experienced Chicago product liability attorneys of the Moll Law Group. Contact us online or call us at 312.462.1700.

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