The Stoddard Law Firm: We Must Improve Awareness of Electrical Injuries to Children

Matthew Stoddard, a personal injury attorney in Georgia, said that electrical injuries can have devastating effects on young children and that greater awareness might significantly reduce injury rates across the country.

Atlanta, Georgia, UNITED STATES

Atlanta, Georgia, July 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When a 10-year-old Texas girl received a fatal electrical shock while attempting to rescue her kittens from behind a clothes dryer, the tragic incident made headlines across the country. A preventable injury like this highlights the need for greater safety precautions and awareness, said Matthew Stoddard, an attorney in Georgia.

“These tragedies should start a dialogue about the ways in which we can create safer living environments for children,” Stoddard said.

The attorney said that these types of injuries are more common than people might think. Each year, children account for 20 percent of the 3,000 electrical injuries resulting in hospitalization,  according to research from a pediatric resident at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.

“Most of these injuries occur around the home,” Stoddard said. “Obviously, parents need to know the risks, but it’s just as important for property managers, landlords and product manufacturers.”

Exposed outlets and faulty wiring are often at the root of electrical injuries to children. These injuries are entirely preventable, Stoddard said.

“If you have dangerous wiring or unsafe electrical outlets in apartment complexes or rental units,” Stoddard said, “there’s a potentially fatal neglect on the part of the property owners and managers. Most people don’t have a working knowledge of electrical currents or proper electrical wiring around the home, so it’s incredibly important for those in charge to constantly check the conditions of their property.”

Electrical injuries can have significant effects on a child, ranging from painful, disfiguring skin damage to debilitating injuries to multiple organs in the body. A serious shock can lead to complications with the heart, kidneys, respiratory system and the brain. Internal injuries caused by electrical shock aren’t always immediately apparent, making diagnosis difficult by medical professionals.

Stoddard, of the Stoddard Law Firm, said that product manufacturers also have a role in keeping children safe. said that product manufacturers also have a role in keeping children safe.

“Products that use electricity should be properly labeled so consumers know when it poses a risk to children,” he said. “It’s the responsibility of a manufacturer to inform users of safety hazards and provide instructions for safe use.”

Tragic electrical injuries can almost always be avoided if everyone does their part to ensure all products and wiring around homes are safe, Stoddard said.

“It’s of little comfort to those who have been devastated by these injuries,” he said. “But the good news is that we can stop them from happening if we take the problem seriously and act to address it.”


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