Articles Posted in Crib death

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As we discussed earlier this week, a press release by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of Nap Nanny recliners that were implicated in the deaths of five infants.

Due to the nature of product liability claims, such as those that may arise in connection with the Nap Nanny, they often affect large groups of people who have purchased or consumed the defective product. When a large group of individuals is injured by the actions of a person or company, it may be in their best interest to pursue their legal claims by means of a class action.

A class action is a type of lawsuit wherein a group of people bring their claims against a defendant as a collective. Before a class action can be commenced, however, the class must be certified by the court in which the action has been filed. In order for a class to be certified, it must possess certain characteristics:

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Recently, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“USPSC”), along with retailers Buy Buy Baby, Diapers.com, Amazon, and Toys ‘R’ Us/Babies ‘R’ Us, announced a voluntary recall of Nap Nanny recliners manufactured by Baby Matters, LLC, following the deaths of five infant involving the product.

According to a press release from the USPSC, the retailers agreed to voluntarily participate in the recall due to the inability or unwillingness of the manufacturer to join in the recall. The USPSC warns that the Nap Nanny Generations One and Two, and the Chill model recliners contain “defects in the design, warnings and instructions” that pose a “substantial risk of injury and death to infants.”

The USPSC recall is the second for the Nap Nanny. In July of 2010, the USPSC and Baby Matters, LLC, issued a joint recall offering a discount to owners of the Generation One Nap Nanny on the price of a newer model Nap Nanny. The recall also included additional instructions and warnings regarding the Generation Two model.

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Last week our Chicago birth injury attorneys discussed the growing awareness about the dangers posed to young children by certain products formerly thought to be safe. At the top of that list are crib bumpers. The potential dangers of crib bumpers were recently reiterated by story published today from JPost Magazine.

These bumpers are essentially soft cushions placed around the outside of a crib in order to prevent the child from hitting their head on the wood, plastic, or other hard material of the crib. However, closer investigation into the product has found the bumpers do little to prevent serious injury to the child, and actually add more danger than they protect. The bumpers are generally plumped up, upholstered object. As such they present asphyxiation dangers or other problems if the child gets covered or tangled by the objects. They are a good example of the fragility of young children, because while the objects would obviously be harmless to even toddlers, they can cause serious harm to the youngest babies.

On top of their danger, the product does little to actually protect children from harm. Safety advocates have noted that a baby bumping their head on the crib while turning over does not caused serious harm. That is why it remains surprising that so many crib bumpers are still sold in stores and even included as parts of cribs sets. Awareness of the danger is still new, and so it is likely that as more people and companies become aware of the problem, changes will be enacted to limit their use to keep infants safe.

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The Illinois child injury lawyers at our firm have worked with many families whose new additions have suffered a variety of injuries. Of course the birth of a new family member is one of the most joyous moments in the life. It is natural for many families to do everything humanely possible to ensure that the child is born without complications and is not harmed as they grow up in ways that will affect the rest of their lives.

At times children are hurt in ways that parents could not have prevented-such as when a birth injury occurs as the result of malpractice on the part of the medical professionals involved. However, once the child is at home, safe and sound, there are still many dangers that parents must guard against. Accidents will always happen that could never be expected. However, as those accidents occur, families, babysitters, child product manufacturers and others can learn from them and take steps to prevent future harm.

For example, many were shocked when stories first came out about young children that were killed or severely injured after being caught in the window blind cords. At first, no one knew that such accident could occur. However, after those first accidents all those in position to prevent the similar tragedies were put on notice. Manufacturers were then in a position to create designs which were safer for children and caregivers were made aware of steps that could be taken to ensure blind cords did not pose a threat to those in their care.

Along those same lines, CNN reported this week on warnings being made about a once-popular child safety device: crib bumpers. It is being reported that a group of doctors is urging parents not to use crib bumpers at all because of fear that they increase the risk of suffocation and entrapment accidents. Crib bumpers are pads that are added to the inside of the crib to prevent a child from sticking body parts through the crib slats and from making contact with the wood on the crib. The new warning comes as part of a larger scale statement addressing “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome” (SIDS) from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The doctor involved in the statement explained that there have now been several different studies which have not found any benefit to the bumpers. Considering that there have been several deaths connected to the product, there remains little reason why parents should put these pads in the cribs under any circumstances.
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Our Illinois birth injury lawyers represents families whose new babies have suffered harm because of mistakes made during their birth that should have been prevented. However, we also have helped families throughout the state whose children have been harmed after birth from a variety of preventable accidents. A wide range of risk factors must be accounted for by parents to ensure that their vulnerable youngsters are not harmed by the dangers around them. There is often a thin line between safety and severe harm. Many of the infant products used by families every day can become dangerous objects for the babies if not guarded against.

For example, crib injuries continue to be a problem affecting many across the country. A recent report in Pediatrics found that at over 25 children are hurt in crib accidents every single day. That adds up to thousands of victims each year. Those shocking totals are important reminders of the need to take precautions to protect your children from being hurt by these products. Even following just a few basic tips can be the difference between safe sleeping and a potentially deadly accident.

For one thing, it is not advisable to use antique cribs. Many of the oldest cribs have openings of unsafe size and shape which may trap the child’s head, neck, arms, or legs. Those old cribs may also be missing necessary hardware affecting the stability of the object. At all times the spaces between crib slats should not exceed 2 3/8 inches according to child protection advocacy groups. Corner posts can also be harmful. If a corner post is too high, it can catch your child’s pajamas and lead to a variety of problems.

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A new study from the University of Munster, in Germany, suggests that women who breastfeed significantly reduce the risk of their babies dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as crib death. The study was based on the observation of over 1,000 infants and found that, after one month, babies who were fed exclusively with breast milk were 50% less likely to die of SIDS.

Read more about the study and its statistical findings here.

To learn more about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, visit the American SIDS Institute‘s website.