Manufacturers of products for infants have a responsibility to make sure the items they are selling are safe to be used with a baby. Babies are helpless and new parents count on the products they buy to help those parents ensure young children are protected during their first years of life. Unfortunately, thousands of infant and children get hurt each year due to accidents involving baby products. In some cases, the products are defectively designed. In other instances, there is a manufacturing defect. There are also cases in which wholesalers and distributors fail to warn consumers about certain potential dangers.
Following a child product defect injury, it is up to parents to determine if they have a legal claim against the product manufacturer or not. Determining if an injury happened due to a product defect can be complicated, but parents owe it to their children to find out if they can hold a manufacturer accountable if a child is hurt due to a baby product.
If a product causes injury, any company in the chain of distribution - from the designer to the manufacturer to the distributor - can be liable to compensate the family for economic losses, as well as pain and suffering. This money can help parents to ensure they get the best care possible for injured children and provide babies with the best quality of life if an injury has caused them long-term harm.
The risk of injuries caused by baby products is substantial. According to Scientific American, an estimated 1.4 million injuries to children under 3 caused by defective baby products occurred between 1991 and 2011. There was a surge in the injury rates in the last four years of the research, after an initial decline in infant injuries. That drop coincided when danger associated with drop-side cribs and walkers were identified and addressed in the early 1990s.
Now with these rising injury rates, it's been revealed that a child under 3 suffers injury an average of once every eight minutes in the U.S. This means around 66,000 kids ages 3 and under get hurt annually due to an issue with some type of baby product.
The products most likely to cause injuries today include baby carriers, children's bedding products, strollers and exercisers including jumpers and walkers. Falls are a leading cause of injury with many of these different types of products, and falls could result in concussions and other serious injuries to young infants.
Baby carriers were the biggest problem, accounting for around 20 percent of the incidents causing infants to be hurt. Bedding products, including cribs and mattresses and bed linens were the second leading cause of injury due to baby gear, with about 19 percent of injuries attributed to these products. Strollers were found to cause approximately 17 percent of the injuries to children due to baby product use. Finally, exercisers accounted for approximately 16 percent of accidents.
Parents can research what to look for to find the safest products possible. For example, a wide wheel base can be safer for baby strollers. Unfortunately, though, injuries will continue to happen and kids could be in jeopardy if products aren't made properly. If a product's defect is the reason an accident occurs, parents need to know how to pursue a damage claim. Getting the right legal help is often the answer.