Articles Posted in Injuries to Children & Minors

People often think of summertime when they think of swimming in a swimming pool but that is not always the case in Illinois. With hundreds of indoor pools dotting the state, those who call the Chicago area home can swim in any month of the year and at any time.

But summer is the season that experiences the highest number of swimmers in the greater Chicago area. Kids are out of school and have free time for things like swimming. Many of the numerous backyard pools open in the summer months to let people swim, play, and have fun. Taking to the water can be an excellent way to get exercise, cool off, and have a good time with friends and family.
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Parents are focused on protecting their children year-round, no matter the activities in which the child is engaged. Some regular functions involve a level of risk that most parents are aware exists – the best example of this remains the use of a vehicle, like a car, in traveling. When children are passengers in a car, there is always a risk that a collision will occur and that the child will become an innocent victim, forced to endure pain and suffering that comes with injuries caused by the crash.

Yet other activities should never pose a threat to the safety of a child if the adults around that kid are acting in a safe and reasonable manner. Despite the perceived safety of these types of activities, though, children in Chicago are injured every year and sustain a range of injuries from cuts and abrasions to broken bones and even death.
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Children of all ages may become the victim of numerous types of accidents, many of which will result in injuries or possibly even the death of a child. When an injury to a child or minor occurs, the impact can stretch to every member of a family and can last for years or decades, depending on the nature of the injury and the extent of the harm that results.

In some cases, children are the innocent victims of the actions of adults, yet it is these children that are forced to endure injuries, the suffering and pain that accompanies the injuries, and even the life changes that may result due to the permanency of damages. Once an accident takes place, nothing can reverse time and return that victim to normal. But a child and his or her family may be entitled to seek relief for the personal damages done in a crash through the use of a civil claim for damages. These claims are separate from any criminal or traffic charges that may be issued by local officials and the right to seek monetary compensation belongs to a victim. The laws in Chicago and in Illinois require that these claims be brought within a time period specified by statute so it is a good idea to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer if you or your child has been hurt in a crash.

A Tuesday night accident in McHenry County turned tragic when a 17-year-old involved in the collision lost his life. According to local officials, the victim was riding a skateboard in the 4200 block of West Crystal Lake Road when a driver in a pickup truck approached shortly after 9:00 p.m. The truck allegedly struck the victim and knocked him from his skateboard, causing serious injuries to his head, neck, and body. Emergency medical crews were called to the scene and rushed the victim to an area hospital but his injuries were too severe and he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

The driver of the truck involved, a 21-year-old male, allegedly was operating his vehicle while impaired, leading to charges this week against the man for driving under the influence. Officials have reported that the driver was not hurt in the crash.
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In many cases, pedestrians have the right-of-way, meaning that vehicular traffic must respect a pedestrian’s right to cross the street or otherwise travel within the rules of the road. But every year, drivers in Chicago and elsewhere across Illinois fail to respect the rights of pedestrians and instead place these walkers in a dangerous position, often causing an accident. When an injury to a child occurs, it is important to realize that the child and his or her family members may be entitled to relief. Often, a child can recover for losses including pain and suffering, emotional harm, and scarring while a parent or guardian may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses incurred as a result of the crash. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer who handles cases involving children and minors may help you understand the legal implications of an accident and whether you are entitled to relief.

In the event that a victim of a crash is killed, the victim’s surviving family members may have a claim for their losses, though no amount of relief can ever provide fair and adequate compensation in those cases. While compensation cannot erase the loss, it can help ease some of the financial burden that often follows a collision.

Police in Whiting, Indiana are still sorting through the facts of a tragic accident yesterday that cost a 12-year-old boy his life. At this time, it appears that the boy was trying to cross Indianapolis near 119th Street when a semi truck approached the area, traveling northbound. The truck struck the boy and according to one eye witnesses then fled the scene. Police were called to respond and so were emergency medical personnel but unfortunately, the boy’s injuries were too severe and he was pronounced dead.

Based on an eyewitness description, police located the truck and the individual believed to have been driving it at the time of the impact. The driver was apprehended and questioned but it is not clear what charges the driver will face, if any, in this crash. Police have noted that the investigation is ongoing at this point and that it may take some time to sort out the events that led to the impact and that cost the young boy his life.
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An automobile accident can happen at any time and in any place. A crash can involve only a single vehicle or, as this winter has proven, dozens of cars and trucks. Regardless of what causes an accident or the external factors involved, any type of crash can lead to injuries to those involved, whether they are drivers or passengers. Some of the most vulnerable individuals involved in car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere across the nation are children who tend to be passengers merely in the wrong place at the wrong time when a crash happens.

The safety devices that come standard in most modern cars are designed for passengers the size and weight of an adult. Some safety devices, like airbags, are actually dangerous to children and therefore manufacturers often caution parents to keep children away from protected areas. But this can leave kids in a part of the car with less protection and greater risk, potentially increasing the odds that a child will be injured in the event of a crash.

When a collision occurs, those who are hurt in the accident may be entitled to seek relief for their damages. This relief can be sought through the use of a civil claim which is separate and distinct from any charges brought by the State of Illinois or any local township. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer who represents the victims of car accidents is a good way to learn about your legal options following a crash.

Unfortunately, a tragic accident occurred on Monday evening in Elwood, south of Joliet. Police have confirmed that a collision between a van and a semi occurred in the area of Route 53 and Mississippi Avenue. According to reports, a 36-year-old woman was driving the van with her 15 and 8-year-old daughters as well as two family friends as they traveled home from dinner. The father of the two girls was following behind the van in a separate vehicle. At this time, police believe that the female driver attempted a left turn at the intersection at the same time a semi was approaching, causing the semi to strike the rear of the van and causing a serious collision.

The 8-year-old daughter was in the third and final row of the van at the time of the crash, and unfortunately, that was the area of the car that received the majority of the force during impact. A passerby attempted CPR on the girl until paramedics arrived and transported her to Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center in nearby Joliet but her injuries were too severe and the 8-year-old died as a result of the car accident.
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Almost 30 percent of all households in Chicago had at least one child under the age of 18 years old living there at the time of the 2010 census meaning that the safety of children has a direct effect on a large number of families. In addition to those living with children are a vast network of extended family and friends who care about young people’s safety.

But the care and protection of children is not just an issue for those with children in their lives. Children are the basis of tomorrow’s Chicago and will fill the roles of educators, inventors, and physicians. Failing to protect children becomes a serious concern to everyone in society as a result.

Perhaps that is why is continues to be shocking whenever an adult causes an injury to a child and fails to take responsibility for those actions, choosing instead to flee the scene of a collision without contacting authorities or even medical personnel to help the victim. But unfortunately, just such an accident involving a child seems to have happened once again in Chicago.

Police have reported that a 13-year-old boy was walking in West Garfield Park on Monday night around 7:00 p.m. when a car approached him. Both the boy and the car were in the 300 block of South Pulaski Road when the driver of the car, traveling southbound, struck the boy. The driver did not stay at the scene of the accident but rather fled the area without calling police or checking to see if the boy was injured.

The boy did sustain injuries in the accident and he was transported by ambulance to Mount Sinai Hospital where doctors treated his injuries. His current condition is not known.

Police are still investigating the crash and are trying to determine who was driving the car that hit the boy. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Chicago Police Department.
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As October begins to wind to a close, families in Illinois are preparing for Halloween celebrations at schools and in their neighborhoods. Regardless of how you plan to celebrate, Halloween offers the potential of a great night with a lot of fun. Yet with so many people on the streets and with kids excited by the promise of trick-or-treating, some often heeded safety rules may fall by the wayside, leaving children at risk of an accident.

Perhaps the most common threat facing children during Halloween is that presented by cars and vans as trick-or-treating is in full force. Young kids may forget to look both ways before crossing a street and may place themselves in the path of an oncoming vehicle, leaving it up to the driver to avoid an accident. The best thing to do is to prevent an accident before it occurs by reminding your children of how to be safe on Halloween and for adults to remember the inherent dangers present by driving in the dark.

Other safety dangers should be addressed in addition to traffic concerns. For example, the Centers for Disease Control seeks to remind parents that candy should always be inspected by an adult before a child is allowed to eat it so that the adult can verify nothing has been tampered with. Additionally, children should always trick-or-treat in groups to reduce the risk of any child losing his or her way though, of course, adult supervision is always best.

One of the easiest safety concerns to address is to make sure your child’s costume does not pose a danger to them. Costumes should not obstruct a child’s ability to see or to walk safely and it should include reflective material when possible. If your child’s costume is already finished and it is not reflective, you may consider sending your child outside with a flashlight so that your child can see where he or she is going and so that oncoming traffic is aware that a pedestrian is in the area.

A more recent development in Halloween safety has been to discourage kids and adults alike from wearing non-prescription contact lenses with their costumes. Often, these lenses make a normal eye appear blacked out, like a cat’s eye, like a magic 8 ball, or even like the colors of your favorite NFL team. While the popularity of these lenses increases drastically every year, the dangers associated with them often go ignored. Many of these lenses do not meet the quality guidelines required by the FDA and some have been linked with serious and permanent injuries, including blindness. Authorities agree that it is better to skip the decorative lenses altogether and to avoid these risks of injuries.
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If you ask many around Chicago, one of the best things about the summertime is the start of professional baseball. Whether you root for the north or for the south, there is nothing like a day at the ballpark with family and friends.

The Cubs hosted the Miami Marlins yesterday at Wrigley Field as part of a series between the two clubs. In the top of the 6th inning, Marlins player Giancarlo Stanton stepped to the plate and swung big at a pitch. Stanton lost his grip on his bat, which flew towards the stands along the third base line. Sitting in those stands was a young boy, approximately three years old, and his family. The bat struck the young boy in the chin and struck the boy’s father in the arm leading to concern about the boy and the extent of his injuries.

After receiving first aid from the medical crew at the stadium, it was clear that the boy suffered only minor injuries and he was able to return to his seat and watch the rest of the game. Some believe that the father’s arm significantly reduced the impact experienced by the boy and saved him from more serious injury.

The nature of baseball means that home runs and foul balls often make their way into the stands, sometimes at a high rate of speed. For the majority of fans, this adds to the fun and excitement of the game and it allows those watching to grab a souvenir ball. Much less common are bats that make their way to the stands. In recent years, bats have been breaking and fracturing at a much higher rate, increasing the odds that pieces of a bat or splinters of wood will threaten fans, but whole, intact bats are lost less often.

Some areas of baseball parks are more likely to lead to errant balls and bats coming into the stands. Notably, the area behind home plate is now protected in all major league stadiums to reduce the number of fouled balls and errant throws to that area of fans, significantly decreasing the number of injuries. Yet injuries still occur in this are and in others as yesterday’s incident illustrates. Some of these incidents are mere accidents and are just part of the game while others may be the result of negligence on the part of the ballpark or the players. It depends on how an accident occurred and the facts surrounding the injury.
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Police believe that the driver of a minivan mistook the gas pedal for the brake outside an elementary school on Wednesday, sending the van crashing through the school’s entrance. The incident occurred in the afternoon at Woodland Middle School in Gurnee. The driver of the minivan, described only as a 67-year-old, was reportedly attempting to back the vehicle when the crash occurred.

An 11-year-old boy was inside the school with his father before the crash occurred. The two were attempting to exit as the minivan came crashing through the door. The van struck the boy, who is a 6th grader, and pinned him underneath the car. Emergency crews responded and had to use the Jaws of Life to remove the car from on top of the child. He was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment and reportedly has since been released. Fortunately, the boy’s injuries appear to be non-life threatening and consist mostly of scrapes and cuts.

Wednesday was orientation day at the school and it appears that the young boy and his father were at the school for that purpose. What should have been an exciting day to start the new school year turned tragic when a driver was negligent. While it may sound like an innocent mistake when the driver used the gas instead of the brake, in fact it was careless and sent a young boy to the hospital.

It is the responsibility of every driver to put safety first. This includes the safety of their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians in the area. Drivers are obligated to remain focused while driving and to avoid distractions. Here, if the allegations of the accident are proved correct, the driver was negligent and was responsible for the accident, including the injuries sustained by the 11-year-old.

Police have not yet stated whether the driver of the minivan will face any charges related to the accident. In addition to potential charges, the driver may face a civil claim by the boy and his family for the injuries caused by the driver. Illinois law allows victims of accidents to recover for their medical bills and other damages that are due to the negligence of another. In auto accidents or other crashes that involve a car, often a claim can be brought against the driver’s insurance policy or even the victim’s insurance policy is some cases.
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On Sunday afternoon, adults realized that a 3-year-old boy was missing from a home in Home Glen. After reporting the boy’s absence to local police, he was found in a neighbor’s pool, unresponsive. The neighbor performed CPR on the young boy until paramedics arrived and took over but the boy did not survive. Paramedics took the child to Silver Cross Hospital where he was pronounced dead just before noon.

The incident occurred at a home in the 1300 block of Chicago-Bloomington Road in Homer Glen on Sunday morning. The boy was reportedly a resident of Colorado and it is not clear what he was doing in the neighborhood. Though the specific facts have not yet been disclosed, there is an indication that a gate surrounding the neighbor’s pool may have been left open after a party on Saturday evening.

Accidental drowning is one of the biggest causes of death among children age one to four. For this reason, regulations covering swimming pools have become increasingly stringent in recent years. Each state, township, municipality and city has different applicable rules so it is important for swimming pool owners to make sure they are in compliance with the right set so they can legally maintain their pool.

If a swimming pool is available to a child, the child will find a way to get to the pool. Holes in a fence that may seem minimal to an owner can provide an easy means of access to a pool when seen through the eyes of a 2-year-old. Similarly, many pool owners have fences with gates surrounding the water but the gates are often propped open during a party where people will be coming and going from the home. This defeats the purpose of the gate and creates an extremely dangerous situation for children, including those at neighboring homes, as this incident illustrates.

It is the responsibility of every pool owner to make sure they comply with all applicable safety regulations. Not only is it the law, but it can help save a life. If a child is not able to gain access to water, the child cannot drown. Preventing unintended access to a pool is the most important thing a pool owner can do.
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