Articles Posted in Children’s Injuries

Many baby stroller recalls result from risk of injury to the child riding in the carriage. A recent recall, however, stemmed from an injury caused to a child outside of the stroller. On September 1, UPPAbaby recalled its RIDGE jogging strollers after a brake sliced off the tip of a non-occupant child’s finger. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), children not in the stroller can get their fingers caught in the rear disc brakes, potentially causing laceration or amputation.

UPPAbaby Stroller Recall Details

The UPPAbaby recall involved about 14,400 all-terrain RIDGE jogging strollers, which feature a disc hand brake system. The brand UPPAbaby appears on the front of the stroller, RIDGE appears on the side of the frame, and the model number “1401-RDG-US” appears on the left side of the frame above the rear wheel. The strollers have a black frame, black tires, and a fabric color scheme in white, charcoal, or slate blue.

Reports of two children becoming dangerously entangled in restraint straps prompted a massive recall of 4moms infant swings and rockers. The company recalled over 2 million products after one baby died of asphyxiation and another suffered bruising to his neck before being rescued. Both entanglement incidents occurred when babies crawled under the seats of unoccupied MamaRoo infant swings.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), families with infants who can crawl should immediately stop using the recalled baby swings and rockers and place them somewhere that crawling infants cannot access. Consumers can contact 4moms to receive a free fastener to prevent the straps from extending under the swing when not in use.

RockaRoo and MamaRoo Recall Details

As the school year nears, parents have a lot on their minds: new classes, fall sports practices, back-to-school shopping, and generally hectic schedules. But there is one thing you hope never to have to worry about: you or your children being hurt in a school bus accident. While school buses are among the safest modes of transporting students to and from school, accidents do happen.

School Bus Accident Facts

In Massachusetts, an estimated half a million public school students travel daily on 9,000 yellow school buses (School Bus Fleet). According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, most school bus-related injuries happen to people getting on or off a bus. Children aged 4-7 have the highest risk of suffering school bus injuries.

Which U.S. state ranks as the best for cyclists? According to the League of American Bicyclists, that honor goes to Massachusetts. In 2022, the Commonwealth topped the list of Bicycle Friendly States, scoring “A” grades for “infrastructure and funding,” “education and encouragement,” and “policies and programs.” One area where Massachusetts didn’t excel: “Traffic laws and practices,” a category in which the state received a disappointing “D” grad

So while Massachusetts is generally considered a good place for cyclists, work remains to be done in terms of safety. In the past five years, the state averaged around seven fatal bicyclist accidents and over 900 non-fatal injury crashes per year (MassDOT crash portal data).

Where Do Most Boston Bicycle Accidents Occur?

When you think of household hazards, your bed probably doesn’t come to mind. But like any other piece of faulty furniture, defective beds can cause serious injuries and even death. In April 2022, a recall was issued for around 129,000 wall beds after one fell and killed a 79-year-old woman. And that was far from an isolated recall. In just the past two years, over a million beds and bed frame units in the U.S. have been recalled for dangerous defects.  

Major Defective Bed Recalls 

Defective furniture recalls happen for a variety of reasons, from suffocation dangers to fall hazards to high levels of lead paint. Below are just some of the recent major recalls of faulty beds and bed accessories.  

Around 3,500 babies die in the U.S. each year in sleep-related incidents. An overwhelming 72% of these sudden infant deaths have been linked to soft bedding. Safe sleeping guidelines are clear: babies should sleep on a flat surface such as a crib without pillows, blankets, or other soft bedding. However, an entire class of commercial infant products known as inclined sleepers violates these rules.

Inclined sleepers–including Boppy pillow loungers–are not flat, have soft padding, and come with a very real risk of suffocation. In fact, they are so dangerous that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) passed a new regulation effectively banning these products in 2022. But the decision comes too late for the families of the over 100 babies who died while using inclined loungers.

What is the Boppy Pillow Lounger Recall?

Altman & Altman LLP is actively reviewing claims regarding cases of nicotine addiction that have occurred due to the widespread use of Juul brand vaporizers. Specifically, we are pursuing claims from individuals who used a Juul vaporizer before they were 18 years of age, and used it prior to November 2018.

Juul vaporizers (also known as vapes and e-cigarettes) have long been marketed as a “safer” alternative to traditional cigarettes. They have utilized the advertising slogan “Make the Switch,” meaning they intend to be a replacement for nicotine-addicted individuals who are either trying to quit nicotine entirely or are looking for a supposedly less harmful way to consume nicotine. With a streamlined, sleek appearance about the size of a standard USB flash drive, and a simple two-piece design with replaceable nicotine-laden oil cartridges, Juuls have become incredibly popular.

Juul may be specifically targeted for children to use

Studies have revealed that Juuls are not only popular with adults. Children under the age of 18 regularly use Juuls in alarming numbers – as data shows that about 3.6 million kids under the age of 18 tried an e-cigarette device at least once in 2018, a 78 percent increase over the prior year.

Combine this knowledge with the fact that Juul pods contain a higher concentration of nicotine than other e-cigarettes, and that children are more susceptible to developing addictions, and what you’re left with is a ripe recipe for children to become nicotine dependent very quickly.

Not only has Juul been criticized for potentially exposing children to a harmful product without doing much to prevent them from accessing it – the company has also come under scrutiny for their development of flavored pods that would also appeal to children; such as mint and berry flavors.

Juul and “popcorn lung”

Juul vaporizers and other electronic cigarette products like them contain a chemical called diacetyl, an additive that supposedly makes the heated vapor less harsh and smoother when inhaled. Diacetyl is also a component added to movie theater popcorn butter to give it that well-known buttery flavor. The chemical is approved by the FDA for consumption as a food product.

However, overexposure to vaporized diacetyl may cause “popcorn lung,” which causes a constriction of the airways within the lungs to the point of total closure – which may lead to further respiratory complications including total lung collapse, a potentially fatal health complication. Continue reading

School is back in session across Boston and throughout Massachusetts, which means that school buses full of children are back on the roads each morning and afternoon as they are taken back and forth from bus stops and the school yard. As uneventful as transporting children should be, on occasion terrible incidents can occur regarding impatient motorists hitting kids who are getting onto or off the school bus. If your child was harmed or even killed following such an incident, contact an attorney from the Cambridge personal injury firm of Altman & Altman LLP today.

Stopping for school bus loading/unloading is the law in Massachusetts

If you are a motorist traveling in a vehicle and you come across a school bus stopping, accompanied by the stop sign arm extending from the driver’s side of the vehicle with lights flashing, it is your legal obligation to stop your vehicle and wait until the stop sign arm has retracted and the school bus continues forward.

Failure to stop in such a situation, or illegally passing by a school bus that has come to a stop to let children on or off the bus, can result in a minimum $250 fine. That fine can climb as high as $2,000 and also leave the perpetrator with a suspended license for a whole year.

School bus passing can have deadly consequences

The school bus stopping law is one that exists for very straightforward, good reasons. Kids as young as five years old utilize the school bus to get to school each day, and some must cross busy streets to do so. Ensuring that traffic has stopped on both sides of the road is the only way to make sure that they aren’t put at adverse risk of being struck by a vehicle, which at their age is always a potentially life-threatening accident to suffer.

According to a national survey conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), where 38 states and Washington D.C. responded to inquiries regarding how many school bus passing incidents occurred during a school year, as many as 15 million motorists will illegally pass a stopped school bus – which demonstrates how disturbingly common such an incident is, and how many children are potentially at risk from this reckless behavior.

Tragically, in just a six-month period between August 2018 and March 2019, 12 children were killed in the United States and another 47 injured as they simply tried to get on and off of their school bus. According to the NASDPTS study, 73 percent of the students killed over a 48-year period in the country were 9 years old or younger. Continue reading

Juul Labs, the manufacturer behind the country’s most popular e-cigarette product, JUUL, are currently facing scrutiny from lawmakers in the United States House of Representatives for their alleged role in a sharp uptick in e-cigarette usage among young children and teenagers throughout the country.

The company has denied these claims, recently telling the economic subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that their goal has been to “eliminate cigarettes for good,” and that “Juul Labs isn’t big tobacco,” and that their top priority is “combating underage use.”

But can such a claim, that JUUL should not be compared to the villainous antics of big tobacco companies of the past, be taken for true at face value? After all, Altria – the parent company of Philip Morris USA, which manufacturers the iconic Marlboro brand of cigarettes – purchased a 35 percent stake of Juul Labs in December of 2018.

Experts have also found that Juul Labs has engaged in similar advertising campaigns – like using young, attractive models and marketing exciting names and tasty flavors – as tobacco companies of the past. These tactics, critics and lawmakers allege, have been specially crafted to make the products more attractive to young kids and teenagers. The brand used to have a strong presence on social media, but they have since shut those accounts down under increased scrutiny.

E-cig and JUUL use explodes among youth

According to government estimates and surveys, as many as 20 percent of high school students in America tried an e-cigarette product last year. Their widespread availability, price, variation of flavors and discrete size has made JUUL a common choice for teenagers. Electronic cigarettes also do not produce the pungent smell of a traditional cigarette, so they are able to secretly use them within buildings and in places that otherwise would be impossible with traditional cigarettes.

The prevalence of e-cigarette products pre-date JUUL, as they began to gain popularity in the mid-2000s, however JUUL has been able to capitalize on a market that has grown exponentially faster than scientific data has been able to keep up with.

Research on whether or not electronic cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes has taken time, and results remain inconclusive. As of this writing, there is no confirmed research to back up the claim that vaporized nicotine products are safer than traditional cigarettes. However, this hasn’t stopped e-cigarette manufacturers like JUUL from claiming their products to be a safer alternative. JUUL even includes testimonials on their website from people who “made the switch” from cigarettes to their products.

What research has shown, however, is that vaporized e-cigarette products contain other health risks that are still not well understood. For example, the chemical diacetyl – which is added to food products such as popcorn for its buttery flavor – is common in e-cigarettes and JUUL products for improving flavor and smoothness of the vaporized product. The problem is that when diacetyl is vaporized, it becomes a harmful respiratory irritant, potentially leading to serious complications such as popcorn lung. Continue reading

In November, five separate accidents involving school bus stops and distracted drivers resulted in the deaths of five children and injuries to six more. The tragedies, which occurred in Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania have prompted law enforcement officials nationwide to highlight the “huge problem” of distracted driving.

Three Children in One Family

Three of the fatalities affected one family in Rochester, Indiana; a nine-year-old girl and her six-year-old twin brothers were killed when they were struck by a pickup as they crossed the street to board their bus. Another child was airlifted to a local hospital. The driver of the pickup truck is facing charges for three counts of reckless homicide. A Boston personal injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured by the negligence of another.

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