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Everyone is staying at home as much as possible during this COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic is hard on adults. It’s even harder on children who, by nature, want to explore, move about, and socialize. The good news seems to be that children aren’t suffering from the disease in the same tragic ways that adults are suffering. However, the bad news is that kids at home are experiencing negative effects in other ways.
According to a report in the New York Times, physicians are reporting they are treating more broken bones and poisoning cases since the stay-at-home orders and protocols started. Broken bones are due to bicycle accidents and trampoline accidents, rather than the playground or team sports injuries which were the norm before the pandemic started. Other at-home injuries to children occur from scooters, skateboards, outdoor toys, and home sporting equipment.
Dr. Gaia Georgopoulos, an orthopedist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, told the NYT that trampolines are one of the biggest causes of childhood accidents during the pandemic. Six of the seven children at his hospital, on just one recent Saturday, had to have surgeries for traumatic injuries because they were injured on trampolines.
Another orthopedist in Indianapolis said his hospital was also treating children for broken arms, elbows, and writs due to trampoline use. Some ER doctors have even taken to calling trampolines “orthopedic fracture machines.”
One study published in May found that bike and trampoline injuries have risen compared to similar months in prior years. The study also found that the age of childhood injury victims during the pandemic is 7.5, as compared to 9.3 before the pandemic. One orthopedist theorized that older children have shifted from baseball and basketball to video games and TV, while younger children are bouncing on trampolines and riding scooters, hover boards, and bicycles. There are even reports of fractures due to rollerblading – inside the home.
Doctors and experts advise that children should wear helmets when riding bikes, scooters, and other mobile toys. Pools should be fenced off so children don’t have drowning accidents. When parents do buy trampolines, only one child should be allowed to bounce at a time, trampolines should be placed on soft surfaces such as grass (not asphalt), install netting, and ensure kids jump safely (no flips and tricks).
Another major problem, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a 20% increase in the number of children (mostly age five and younger) who are swallowing disinfectants and cleaning products. In one case, a young girl drank hand sanitizer (which had alcohol), fainted, and then hit her head when she fell.
At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, our experienced Delaware personal injury lawyers have a strong track record of success negotiating settlements and obtaining courtroom verdicts. We handle a broad range of childhood injury cases. We understand the unique legal and medical issues involved in cases where a child is seriously hurt. To discuss your case, please call us at 302.314.5553 or fill out our contact form. We have offices in Wilmington, Newark, and Seaford.